Aug. 17, 2006

American Attitudes Hold Steady in Face of Foreign Crises

Summary of Findings The public is paying a great deal of attention to major overseas events – the reported terrorist plot against U.S. trans-Atlantic jet liners, the war in Lebanon, as well as the ongoing violence in Iraq. However, there is little indication that these dramatic stories have materially changed public attitudes. Worries about another […]

Aug. 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 […]

Jun. 6, 2006

Two Americas, One American

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 […]

Feb. 3, 2006

Bush’s Concern Over Isolationism Reflects More Than Just Rhetoric

When President Bush delivered a strong warning against isolationism in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, he was speaking to a recent and dramatic turn in public opinion. A recent Pew Research survey found a decided revival of isolationist sentiment among the public, to levels not seen since post-Cold War 1990s and the post-Vietnam 1970s. […]

Nov. 17, 2005

Opinion Leaders Turn Cautious, Public Looks Homeward

Introduction and Summary Preoccupied with war abroad and growing problems at home, U.S. opinion leaders and the general public are taking a decidedly cautious view of America’s place in the world. Over the past four years, opinion leaders have become less supportive of the United States playing a “first among equals” role among the world’s […]

Jan. 24, 2005

Politics and Values in a 51%-48% Nation

Summary of Findings This report is an excerpt from chapter one of the book Trends 2005, produced by the Pew Research Center. Public attitudes on national security are now much more strongly associated with partisan affiliation than they were in the late 1990s. A comprehensive study of long-term public values finds that beliefs about national […]

Aug. 18, 2004

Foreign Policy Attitudes Now Driven by 9/11 and Iraq

For the first time since the Vietnam era, foreign affairs and national security issues are looming larger than economic concerns in a presidential election. The Sept. 11 attacks and the two wars that followed not only have raised the stakes for voters as they consider their choice for president, but also have created deep […]

Nov. 5, 2003

The 2004 Political Landscape

Over the past four years, the American electorate has been dealt a series of body blows, each capable of altering the political landscape. The voting system broke down in a presidential election. A booming economy faltered, punctuated by revelations of one of the worst business scandals in U.S. history. And the country endured a […]

Sep. 4, 2003

Two Years Later, the Fear Lingers

Summary of Findings As the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches, heightened public concern about international threats persists. Fully three-quarters of Americans see the world as a more dangerous place than a decade ago, up from 53% in a Pew survey conducted in early September 2001, just prior to the terrorist strikes […]

Dec. 4, 2002

What the World Thinks in 2002

Introduction and Summary Global Gloom and Growing Anti-Americanism Despite an initial outpouring of public sympathy for America following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, discontent with the United States has grown around the world over the past two years. Images of the U.S. have been tarnished in all types of nations: among longtime NATO allies, […]

Sep. 5, 2002

One Year Later: New Yorkers More Troubled, Washingtonians More On Edge

Introduction Over the past year, many of the dramatic reactions of the public to the events of Sept. 11 have slowly faded. The spike in trust in government is mostly gone, the public once again is highly critical the of the news media, and even President Bush’s approval ratings have come down from the stratosphere.(1) […]

Jan. 22, 2002

Americans Favor Force in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and……

Introduction The public expects and supports continued military action to combat terrorism. No less than 92% think the United States will have to use military force to reduce the threat of terrorism, even if Osama bin Laden is captured or killed. The perception that the fight against terrorism remains unfinished also is reflected in the […]

Oct. 24, 2001

America’s New Internationalist Point of View

Introduction and Summary The terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan have created a new internationalist sentiment among the public. There is much more support for a multilateral foreign policy than before Sept.11, with roughly six-in-ten (59%) now saying that the interests of allies should be taken into account by U.S. policymakers. By about a […]

Sep. 27, 2001

Military Action A Higher Priority Than Homeland Defense

Introduction and Summary The public’s strong commitment to the use of military force in retaliation for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is predicated at least in part on the idea that a good offense represents the best defense. By 44%-33%, Americans think that taking military action abroad to destroy global terrorist networks is more important […]

Jun. 29, 2001

Fear of Terrorism Weighs Heavily on Public

by Andrew Kohut for America Online

Jun. 11, 2001

Modest Support for Missile Defense, No Panic on China

Introduction and Summary As George W. Bush makes his first overseas trip as president, he has the backing of the American public on a pair of high-profile security and foreign policy issues. The public favors his call for developing a national missile defense system and feels he is taking the right tack in handling relations […]