Jun. 16, 2011

In Shift from Bush Era, More Conservatives Say “Come Home, America”

In their first major presidential debate June 13, the Republican candidates sketched out a cautious approach to U.S. global engagement that would represent a departure from the policies of the Bush administration. Yet their ideas are very much in tune with the evolving views of the GOP base. In the Pew Research Center’s political typology […]

Jun. 10, 2011

Views of Middle East Unchanged by Recent Events

Major events in the Middle East –including tensions between the U.S. and Israel, growing political unrest in many Arab countries, and the death of Osama bin Laden – have had little effect on public attitudes toward the region. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, far more Americans continue to say they sympathize with Israel rather than […]

Jun. 7, 2011

More Blame Wars than Domestic Spending or Tax Cuts for Nation’s Debt

Far more Americans say that the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has contributed a great deal to the nation’s debt than say that about increased domestic spending or the tax cuts enacted over the past decade. Six-in-ten (60%) say the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has contributed a […]

May. 4, 2011

Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology

With the economy still struggling and the nation involved in multiple military operations overseas, the public’s political mood is fractious. In this environment, many political attitudes have become more doctrinaire at both ends of the ideological spectrum, a polarization that reflects the current atmosphere in Washington. Yet at the same time, a growing number […]

May. 3, 2011

More Optimism about Afghanistan, But No Boost in Support for Troop Presence

The killing of Osama bin Laden has bolstered the public’s confidence on two fronts: that the government can prevent a possible terrorist attack, and that the U.S. will succeed in achieving its goals in Afghanistan. However, the public’s basic views about U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism in the United States […]

Apr. 8, 2011

Civil War at 150: Still Relevant, Still Divisive

As the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War approaches, most Americans say the war between the North and South is still relevant to American politics and public life today. More than half of Americans (56%) say the Civil War is still relevant, according to the latest national survey by the Pew […]

Apr. 5, 2011

Goal of Libyan Operation Less Clear to Public

Two weeks after U.S. and NATO forces began military operations in Libya, the public’s reaction to the situation remains mixed. Half (50%) say the United States and its allies made the right decision in conducting airstrikes in Libya, while 37% say it was the wrong decision – a balance of opinion virtually unchanged from […]

Mar. 28, 2011

Modest Support for Libya Airstrikes, No Clear Goal Seen

After several days of airstrikes on Libya by the United States and its allies, the public has mixed reactions to the military operation. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say the United States made the right decision in conducting air strikes in Libya while 36% say it was the wrong decision. Fully one-in-six (17%) express […]

Mar. 14, 2011

Public Wary of Military Intervention in Libya

The public by a wide margin says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting between government forces and anti-government groups in Libya. And while opinion is divided over enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, this view is undercut by the fact that Americans overwhelmingly oppose bombing Libyan […]

Dec. 7, 2010

Mixed Views on Tax Cuts, Support for START and Allowing Gays to Serve Openly

With the public giving subpar approval ratings to President Obama and continuing to express negative views of Congress and the political parties, it goes its own way on many of the remaining issues before the lame-duck Congress. In a survey conducted before Obama and GOP leaders agreed to temporarily extend all Bush-era tax cuts, […]

Mar. 18, 2010

Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama

As the day of reckoning for health care reform approaches, Americans have little to cheer about. Nearly everyone (92%) gives the national economy a negative rating. Closer to home, 85% say that jobs are hard to find in their community. A majority (54%) now says that someone in their household has been without a […]

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. 5, 2009

Public Divided Over Afghan Troop Requests, But Still Sees Rationale for War

Sep. 22, 2009

Public Support for Afghan Mission Slips

Public support for keeping U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan has declined since June and Americans express decidedly mixed views about whether the United States is making progress in reducing civilian casualties, defeating the Taliban militarily and establishing democracy in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, a sizable majority of the public (76%) views the possibility of the […]

Jan. 29, 2009

Ideological Gaps Over Israel on Both Sides of Atlantic

Jan. 13, 2009

Modest Backing For Israel in Gaza Crisis

Americans have a mixed view of the war in the Gaza Strip, and see it in much the same way as they viewed Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. While continuing to express strong general support for Israel, the public offers limited approval of Israel’s decision to take military action in Gaza. However, Hamas […]

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 […]

Jun. 2, 2008

The Iraq Challenge

It turns out that Iraq is not the pivotal campaign issue that it seemed to be less than a year ago. Indeed, the war is no longer the top concern among voters. At the same time, the war’s impact is complicated by ambivalent and contradictory public opinions. In many respects, as far as Iraq is […]

May. 1, 2008

Obama’s Image Slips, His Lead Over Clinton Disappears

Summary of Findings Democratic voters are not as positive about Barack Obama as they were a month ago. Somewhat smaller percentages of Democrats describe Obama in favorable terms, and he has lost his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Nationally, Democratic voters are about evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; […]

Mar. 19, 2008

Public Attitudes Toward the War in Iraq: 2003-2008

Five years after the start of the conflict in Iraq, many public evaluations of the situation in Iraq have turned more positive. But there has been no turnaround in the public’s opinion about the original decision to take military action in Iraq. While ratings of how things are going in Iraq have improved over the […]