Jun. 4, 2012

Section 7: Values About Foreign Policy and Terrorism

For two decades, the public has consistently favored focusing more attention on domestic problems, and less on overseas concerns. At the same time, it has expressed robust support for an active approach to world affairs. The new survey finds most Americans continuing to hold both points of view. But the number saying the U.S. should […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 8: Domestic and Foreign Policy Views

Generations Divide on Some—Not All—Social Issues As discussed in Sections 1 and 4, different generations of Americans have starkly different views on some of the social changes occurring in the country today. That’s particularly the case when it comes to trends related to diversity, homosexuality, and secularism. While Millennials tend to take a more liberal […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 7: Views of Government

For most of their adult lives, members of the Silent generation have been one of the more conservative generations with respect to their view of the role of government. At least as far back as 1980, when Silents were between the ages of 35 and 52, and in the years since, they have generally been […]

Sep. 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 […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 9: Foreign Policy and National Security

While Americans hold disparate views on how the U.S. should pursue its military and foreign policy, these issues generally do not represent the deepest divides across typology groups. This stands in contrast to the findings of the previous political typology study in 2005, in which national security issues were among the most divisive – a […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 6: Tea Party and Views of Government Overreach

Over the past year, the Tea Party movement has emerged on the political scene. A majority of the public has heard about the Tea Party protests that have taken place in the U.S. and about a quarter of Americans say they agree with the movement. Tea Party backers overwhelmingly identify with or lean to the […]

Dec. 3, 2009

Section 7: Threat of Terrorism and Civil Liberties

Most Council on Foreign Relations members believe that America is safer from terrorism than it was at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. But the majority of Americans disagree, saying that the ability of terrorists to launch another major attack is either greater (29%) or the same (38%) as it was on 9/11. […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 10: Social Networking, Science and Civil Liberties

Amid the growing popularity of social networking web sites, the public expresses mixed opinions about people sharing personal information online. About as many say it is a bad thing (44%) that the internet enables people to share pictures and other personal things about themselves with others as see this as a good thing (43%). As […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Section 5: Iraq, Afghanistan and Terrorism

Public perceptions of the situation in Iraq have become significantly more positive over the past several months, even as opinions about the initial decision to use military force remain mostly negative and unchanged. The number of Americans who say the military effort is going very or fairly well is much higher now than a year […]

Sep. 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 […]

Feb. 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 […]

Jan. 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 […]

Nov. 17, 2005

III. Iraq and the War on Terrorism

Opinion leaders express deep doubts about the decision to go to war in Iraq, and most of them believe the war has undermined the struggle against terrorism. Influentials are divided on whether to keep troops in Iraq, but most think that the U.S. will ultimately fail in its effort to create a stable democratic government […]

Aug. 18, 2004

Part Four: Beliefs About Foreign Policy

Americans today believe the guiding principles of U.S. foreign policy should be morality, caution and decisiveness. Fully 72% of the public says following moral principles should be a top priority in the way the U.S. conducts foreign policy. Roughly two-thirds (66%) say being cautious should be a top priority and 62% place equal importance on […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 9: Other Issues (Civil Liberties, Immigration, Technology, Environment)

Civil Liberties and Terrorism For the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, half of Americans say it will not be necessary for the average person to sacrifice civil liberties in the struggle against terrorism, while 44% believe such steps will be necessary. In three previous surveys since Sept. 11, 2001, majorities or pluralities […]

Jun. 27, 2002

Other Important Findings and Analysis

No Partisan Advantage The two parties continue to run neck and neck in the generic congressional ballot. Overall, 46% of registered voters support or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their district, while 44% favor the Republican. This reflects virtually unanimous support from partisans (93% of Republicans plan to vote Republican, 91% of Democrats plan […]

Jan. 22, 2002

Other Important Findings

Many Reasons Justify Iraq Action Americans see several possible justifications for expanding the war into Iraq. Fully 83% say evidence that Iraq abetted the Sept. 11 attacks would be a very important reason for using force. Nearly as many say force is justified if Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction (77%) or is harboring […]

Dec. 19, 2001

How the World Has Changed

Despite their deep differences over the causes and consequences of the terror attacks, opinion leaders in every region agree that Sept. 11 marked the beginning of a new chapter in world history. About eight-in-ten (78%) U.S. respondents, and virtually the same number elsewhere, believe that the terrorist attacks and subsequent conflict opened a new era. […]

Sep. 19, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Most See Need to Sacrifice Liberties Even more than was the case after the 1995 terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City, Americans think it will be necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to combat terrorism. A majority (55%) say the average person will have to give up some freedoms in order to prevent […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Section 2: Values

Cynicism Waning Americans are less cynical about politics than they were five years ago. More people now say that they can influence the political process, and fewer people see their elected officials as inattentive to their needs. Almost three-quarters (73%) agree that voting gives them some say in how the government runs things ­ a […]