PublicationsSeptember 1, 2011

United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the events of that day retain a powerful hold on the public’s collective consciousness. Virtually every American remembers what they were doing at the moment the attacks occurred. Substantial majorities say that 9/11 had a profound personal impact and that the attacks changed the […]

Multi-section ReportsAugust 30, 2011

Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, a comprehensive public opinion survey finds no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about home-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques and other pressures that have been brought to bear on this high-profile minority group in recent years.

PublicationsDecember 2, 2010

Despite Years of Terror Scares, Public’s Concerns Remain Fairly Steady

Since 9/11, there have been major terrorist attacks in Great Britain, Spain and other countries. And in the United States, there have been Orange Alerts and numerous near misses involving bombs smuggled aboard aircraft and in parked cars. But over the course of all of this, there is little evidence that close calls in […]

PublicationsOctober 22, 2010

Continued Positive Marks for Government Anti-Terror Efforts

The federal government continues to get positive marks for efforts to reduce the threat of terrorism, but many Americans say luck is a big reason why the United States has not suffered a major attack at home since Sept. 11, 2001. About seven-in-ten (69%) say the government is doing very (15%) or fairly well […]

Multi-section ReportsJanuary 14, 2010

Obama Image Unscathed By Terrorism Controversy

Summary of Findings In the aftermath of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, the government’s ratings for reducing the threat of terrorism have slipped. In addition, 33% now say that the ability of terrorists to launch a major attack on the U.S. is greater than it was at the time of […]

Multi-section ReportsDecember 3, 2009

U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful

The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally, while acknowledging the increasing stature of China. And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame […]

CommentaryAugust 7, 2009

Public Supports Targeting Al Qaeda Leaders, Wants Congress in the Loop

PublicationsApril 23, 2009

Public Remains Divided Over Use of Torture

Amid intense debate over the use of torture against suspected terrorists, public opinion about this issue remains fairly stable. Currently, nearly half say the use of torture under such circumstances is often (15%) or sometimes (34%) justified; about the same proportion believes that the torture of suspected terrorists is rarely (22%) or never (25%) […]

PublicationsFebruary 18, 2009

Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies

President Obama receives positive ratings for his handling of terrorism and most Americans say his administration’s policies will reduce the likelihood of another major attack on the United States. But as in recent years, the public remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat of terrorism. Americans approve of […]

CommentaryMarch 14, 2008

What Foreign Policy Agenda?

Issues have hardly played a dominant role in the nominating races, especially on the Democratic side. Still, the public has a clear domestic agenda for the next president. Fix the economy, reduce health care costs, improve the environment, reform education, deal with rising energy costs and so on. This hearty appetite for an assertive domestic […]

PublicationsDecember 19, 2006

Free Trade Agreements Get a Mixed Review

Summary of Findings The American public continues to have a mixed opinion about free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. On balance they are seen as a good thing for the country, but Americans are divided over the impact of free trade agreements on their own personal financial situations. About as many people […]

PublicationsOctober 5, 2006

Iraq Looms Large in Nationalized Election

Summary of Findings Iraq has become the central issue of the midterm elections. There is more dismay about how the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going than at any point since the war began more than three years ago. And the war is the dominant concern among the majority of voters who say they […]

PublicationsSeptember 14, 2006

Democrats Hold Solid Lead; Strong Anti-Incumbent, Anti-Bush Mood

Summary of Findings As the congressional midterm campaign begins in earnest, the mood of the electorate is sharply drawn. Voters are disappointed with Congress and disapproving of President Bush. Anti-incumbent sentiment, while a bit lower than a few months ago, is far more extensive than in the previous two midterms and remains close to 1994 […]

PublicationsSeptember 6, 2006

Diminished Public Appetite for Military Force and Mideast Oil

Summary of Findings Five years later, Americans’ views of the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have changed little, but opinions about how best to protect against future attacks have shifted substantially. In particular, far more Americans say reducing America’s overseas military presence, rather than expanding it, will have a greater effect in reducing […]

PublicationsAugust 8, 2006

Public Holds Conflicting Views of Press Reports about Government Monitoring Bank Records

Summary of Findings The public is of two minds about news reports that the government has been secretly examining the bank records of American citizens who may have ties to terrorist groups. By a margin of 50%-34%, Americans think that news organizations have hurt rather than helped the interests of the American people with these […]

PublicationsFebruary 7, 2006

Iran a Growing Danger, Bush Gaining on Spy Issue

Summary of Findings Public concern over Iran’s nuclear program has risen dramatically in the past few months. Today, 27% of Americans cite Iran as the country that represents the greatest danger to the United States. In October, just 9% pointed to Iran as the biggest danger to the U.S., while there was far more concern […]

PublicationsJanuary 11, 2006

Americans Taking Abramoff, Alito and Domestic Spying in Stride

Summary of Findings The public has been hardly stirred by the flurry of major Washington news in the early days of 2006. Jack Abramoff’s admission that he bribed members of Congress has sparked little interest, with just 18% paying very close attention to news reports on the disgraced Washington lobbyist. An overwhelming majority of Americans […]

PublicationsJuly 21, 2005

More Say Iraq War Hurts Fight Against Terrorism

Summary of Findings A growing number of Americans believe that the war in Iraq has undermined the U.S. struggle against terrorism. Nearly half (47%) say the war in Iraq has hurt the war on terrorism, the highest percentage expressing that view since the war began in March 2003. Nonetheless, public support for an immediate withdrawal […]

PublicationsSeptember 17, 2004

Iraq Support Steady in Face of Higher Casualties

Summary of Findings Most Americans think that the United States is winning the war on terrorism, and a solid majority believes that Al Qaeda and related terrorist groups are weaker now than they were before the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition, somewhat more Americans believe the war in Iraq has helped the war on terrorism […]

PublicationsAugust 12, 2004

Public Faults Bush on Economy – 55% Say Jobs are Scarce

Summary of Findings With three months to go until the presidential election, the American public remains largely dissatisfied with economic conditions and with President Bush’s stewardship of the economy. Two-thirds rate the national economy as “only fair” or “poor,” while just one-third judge it to be “excellent” or “good.” Accordingly, Bush gets low ratings for […]