Pew Research CenterMay 5, 2016

Public Uncertain, Divided Over America’s Place in the World

The public views America’s role in the world with considerable apprehension and concern. In fact, most Americans say it would be better if the U.S. just dealt with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own problems as best they can. With the United States facing an array of global threats, public […]

Pew Research CenterDec 15, 2015

Views of Government’s Handling of Terrorism Fall to Post-9/11 Low

Survey Report Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., the public’s concerns about terrorism have surged and positive ratings of the government’s handling of terrorism have plummeted. But other attitudes relating to terrorism and security, as well as perceptions of whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence, have […]

Pew Research CenterDec 15, 2014

About Half See CIA Interrogation Methods as Justified

Following the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on post-9/11 CIA interrogation practices, 51% of Americans say these CIA methods were justified, compared with 29% who say they were not.

Pew Research CenterOct 6, 2014

Public Divided Over Whether Secret Service Lapses Signal ‘Broader Problems’

Survey Report Following a White House security breach and reports of other Secret Service problems, roughly equal shares of the public think the recent issues are mainly isolated incidents (42%) as think they are signs of broader problems with the agency (43%). The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 2-5 among […]

Pew Research CenterJan 20, 2014

Obama’s NSA Speech Has Little Impact on Skeptical Public

Survey Report President Obama’s speech on Friday outlining changes to the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone and internet data did not register widely with the public. Half say they have heard nothing at all about his  proposed changes to the NSA, and another 41% say they heard only a little bit. Even among those […]

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Pew Research CenterDec 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.

Pew Research CenterDec 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 […]

Pew Research CenterJul 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 […]

Pew Research CenterJun 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 […]

Pew Research CenterJun 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 […]

Pew Research CenterApr 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 […]

Pew Research CenterApr 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 […]

Pew Research CenterApr 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 […]

Pew Research CenterApr 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 […]

Pew Research CenterFeb 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 […]

Pew Research CenterFeb 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 […]

Pew Research CenterSep 17, 2012

Middle East Turmoil Closely Followed; Romney’s Comments Viewed Negatively

About four-in-ten Americans (43%) have followed news about the attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador very closely, making it by far the most closely followed foreign news story of the year. Those who have followed this story have much more positive opinions about Barack Obama’s […]

Pew Research CenterJun 4, 2012

Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years

As Americans head to the polls this November, their values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began, the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides. […]

Pew Research CenterFeb 15, 2012

Public Takes Strong Stance Against Iran’s Nuclear Program

The public supports tough measures – including the possible use of military force – to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Just 30% say it is more important to avoid a military […]

Pew Research CenterSep 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 […]