Dec. 3, 2013

Video: Americans Grow More Pessimistic about U.S. Role in World Affairs

Highlights from the report: Public Sees U.S. Power Declining as Support for Global Engagement Slips. For the first time in nearly a half century of polling – a majority agrees that the United States should mind its own business internationally.

Dec. 3, 2013

Public Sees U.S. Power Declining as Support for Global Engagement Slips

Growing numbers of Americans believe that U.S. global power and prestige are in decline. And support for U.S. global engagement, already near a historic low, has fallen further. The public thinks that the nation does too much to solve world problems, and increasing percentages want the U.S. to “mind its own business internationally” and […]

Jul. 26, 2013

Few See Adequate Limits on NSA Surveillance Program

A majority of Americans – 56% – say that federal courts fail to provide adequate limits on the telephone and internet data the government is collecting as part of its anti-terrorism efforts. An even larger percentage (70%) believes that the government uses this data for purposes other than investigating terrorism. And despite the insistence […]

Jun. 17, 2013

Public Split over Impact of NSA Leak, But Most Want Snowden Prosecuted

The public is divided over whether the leak of classified information about NSA phone and internet surveillance serves the public interest. But a majority says that former government contractor Edward Snowden should be criminally prosecuted. The new national survey, conducted June 12-16 by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY among 1,512 adults, finds […]

Jun. 10, 2013

Majority Views NSA Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-terror Tactic

A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And while the public is more evenly divided over the government’s […]

Apr. 29, 2013

Modest Support for Military Force if Syria Used Chemical Weapons

By a 45% to 31% margin, more Americans favor than oppose the U.S. and its allies taking military action against Syria, if it is confirmed that Syria used chemical weapons against anti-government groups. Public interest in the Syrian conflict remains low, and nearly a quarter of Americans (23%) have no opinion about the use […]

Apr. 23, 2013

Most Expect ’Occasional Acts of Terrorism’ in the Future

Last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon attracted broad public interest: 63% of Americans say they followed the story very closely, among the highest interest in any news story in the past decade. And the bombings drew far more public attention than any terrorist event since Sept. 11, 2001, which 78% reported following very […]

Apr. 9, 2013

Public Divided over North Korea’s Intentions, Capability

A majority of Americans say that the United States should take North Korea’s nuclear threats very seriously. At the same time, the public is divided over whether North Korea’s leadership is willing and capable of following through on its threats against the United States. The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April […]

Apr. 8, 2013

Gun Debate Draws More Interest than Immigration Policy Debate

As Congress returns to Washington to resume work on gun control and immigration legislation, the public is paying far closer attention to news about the gun control debate than news about the debate over immigration policy. A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 4-7 among 1,003 adults, finds 37% say they […]

Feb. 20, 2013

Hagel Better Known, Viewed More Negatively

Unfavorable opinions of Chuck Hagel have increased over the past month as he has faced a bruising confirmation battle to become President Obama’s secretary of defense. A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 14-17 among 1,003 adults, finds that 22% have a favorable opinion of Hagel while 28% have an unfavorable […]

Feb. 11, 2013

Continued Support for U.S. Drone Strikes

While U.S. drone strikes have faced new scrutiny in recent weeks, a majority of the public continues to support the program. Overall, 56% approve of the U.S. conducting missile strikes from pilotless aircraft to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; just 26% say they disapprove. Opinion is largely unchanged from […]