George Stawnyczyj voted for Donald Trump twice. On domestic policy, he gives the former president top marks. But he’ll stay home on Election Day should Trump win his party’s nomination to take on Joe Biden in 2024.
Stawnyczyj is an official in the Republican Party in rural Carbon County, Pennsylvania. He’s also Ukrainian-American and can’t stomach Trump’s criticism of aid payments to war-torn Ukraine nor his habit of complimenting Vladimir Putin.
“The way Trump is talking right now, getting into bed with Putin, there’s no way I can support him,” Stawnyczyj, a retired truck driver, told Reuters at his home in the Appalachian Mountains.
The votes of Ukrainian-Americans – traditionally a Republican-leaning bloc – could have an outsize impact on the 2024 general election, according to some lawmakers, strategists and advocates, plus a Reuters analysis of U.S. census data.
While the number of Americans who identify as being of Ukrainian descent is relatively small at about 1 million, they are densely distributed in a string of unusually competitive areas where their votes could potentially be decisive.
In Pennsylvania and Michigan, the size of the Ukrainian-American community outstrips Trump’s margin of victory in 2016, according to the analysis. In at least 13 congressional districts across the country, it exceeds or roughly matches the margin of victory by either party in the 2022 midterm elections.
Stawnyczyj is one of many Ukrainian-Americans who plan to sit out the 2024 election or even vote Democrat for the first time, according to interviews with 22 Ukrainian-American activists, elected officials, community leaders and voters, as well as a dozen officials and strategists that interact with the community.
Their reason: disinterest among top Republican lawmakers and some of the party’s 2024 White House hopefuls in defending their ancestral homeland following Russia’s invasion last year, a stance set in stark relief to President Biden’s full-throated support of Ukraine and its leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy. [Continue reading…]
President Biden and other leaders of the world’s major industrial democracies rallied around Ukraine on Sunday with vows of resolute support and promises of further weapons shipments even as Russian forces claimed to have seized full control of a bitterly contested city.
Mr. Biden and his counterparts figuratively and, in some cases, literally wrapped their arms around President Volodomyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who made an audacious journey halfway around the world from his ravaged homeland to Hiroshima, Japan, to solicit aid for the first time in person from the Group of 7 powers at their annual summit.
“Together with the entire G7, we have Ukraine’s back, and I promise we’re not going anywhere,” Mr. Biden told Mr. Zelensky while announcing another $375 million in artillery, ammunition and other arms for Ukraine. At a later news conference, Mr. Biden voiced defiance of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
“I once more shared and assured President Zelensky, together with all G7 members and our allies and partners around the world, that we will not waver,” he said. “Putin will not break our resolve, as he thought he could.” [Continue reading…]