Multi-section ReportsApril 28, 2010

Pessimistic Public Doubts Effectiveness of Stimulus, TARP

The public remains doggedly downbeat about the condition of the national economy, even as many experts and economists see signs of recovery. As has been the case for most of the past two years, about nine-in-ten (88%) rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, and over the past year there has been […]

PublicationsJanuary 25, 2010

Public’s Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism

Summary of Findings As Barack Obama begins his second year in office, the public’s priorities for the president and Congress remain much as they were one year ago. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation continue to top the list. And, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a […]

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 […]

PublicationsNovember 18, 2009

Modest Rise in Concern About Islamic Extremism

The public continues to express concern about the rise of Islamic extremism in the United States and abroad, but a survey taken shortly after the deadly Nov. 5 shootings at the Fort Hood Army base shows only a modest increase in these concerns since 2007. Just more than half (52%) of Americans say they […]

PublicationsOctober 6, 2009

Most Would Use Force to Stop Iranian Nukes

The public approves of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, although most Americans are not hopeful the talks will succeed. And a strong majority – 61% – says that it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Far fewer (24%) say it […]

CommentaryAugust 7, 2009

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

PublicationsJune 18, 2009

Obama’s Ratings Remain High Despite Some Policy Concerns

A solid majority of Americans (61%) continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. An important positive sign for Obama is the public’s continued optimism that his policies will improve the economy – fully 65% express this view. A smaller majority (55%) is optimistic […]

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 […]

Multi-section ReportsSeptember 24, 2008

Declining Public Support for Global Engagement

The public is feeling much better about how the war in Iraq is going these days, but at the same time has a sharply diminished appetite for U.S. efforts to deal with an array of global problems. Fewer people than at any point in this decade assign high priority to such foreign policy goals […]

PublicationsNovember 27, 2007

Public Sees Progress in War Effort

Summary of Findings For the first time in a long time, nearly half of Americans express positive opinions about the situation in Iraq. A growing number says the U.S. war effort is going well, while greater percentages also believe the United States is making progress in reducing the number of Iraqi casualties, defeating the insurgents […]

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 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 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 […]

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 […]

CommentaryJune 6, 2006

Two Americas, One American

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 […]

CommentaryFebruary 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. […]

Multi-section ReportsNovember 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 […]