Dec. 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 […]

Nov. 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 […]

Aug. 7, 2009

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

Apr. 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%) […]

Feb. 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 […]

Sep. 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 […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Obama Has The Lead, But Potential Problems Too

Summary of Findings Barack Obama is riding high as the March 4 primaries approach. Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest and holds a 50%-43% lead over John McCain in a general election matchup. However, the survey results point to several potential hazards for Obama. […]

Sep. 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jul. 26, 2005

Views of Muslim-Americans Hold Steady After London Bombings

Summary of Findings The July 7 terrorist bombings in London drew considerable public attention and raised fears of another attack in the United States, but these concerns do not translate into less favorable opinions of either Muslim-Americans or Islam. And compared with 2003, fewer now say that Islam is more likely than other religions to […]

Jul. 21, 2005

More Say Iraq War Hurts Fight Against Terrorism

Summary of Findings A growing number of Americans believe that the war in Iraq has undermined the U.S. struggle against terrorism. Nearly half (47%) say the war in Iraq has hurt the war on terrorism, the highest percentage expressing that view since the war began in March 2003. Nonetheless, public support for an immediate withdrawal […]

Sep. 17, 2004

Iraq Support Steady in Face of Higher Casualties

Summary of Findings Most Americans think that the United States is winning the war on terrorism, and a solid majority believes that Al Qaeda and related terrorist groups are weaker now than they were before the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition, somewhat more Americans believe the war in Iraq has helped the war on terrorism […]

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 […]

Jul. 20, 2004

9/11 Commission has Bipartisan Support

Summary of Findings The public broadly approves of the performance of the 9/11 commission in investigating the events that led to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. By more than two-to-one (61%- 24%), Americans approve of the job being done by the commission, which is expected to release its final […]

Mar. 16, 2004

A Year After Iraq War

Summary of Findings A year after the war in Iraq, discontent with America and its policies has intensified rather than diminished. Opinion of the United States in France and Germany is at least as negative now as at the war’s conclusion, and British views are decidedly more critical. Perceptions of American unilateralism remain widespread in […]

Sep. 19, 2003

A Chink in the Armor

New York Times

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 […]

Sep. 5, 2002

Temporary Turnabout: Religion and the Crisis

In March, 2001, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life began a partnership to conduct a series of national public opinion surveys on religious attitudes. With the events of September 11, we accelerated our agenda to investigate how religious beliefs shaped public reactions […]

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) […]