Strong Confidence in Obama — Country Seen as Less Politically Divided
Public confidence in Barack Obama to deal with the nation’s most pressing problems is high and many Americans not only see the president-elect as a problem-solver, but as a “uniter” as well.
Obama Cabinet Appointees Highly Visible
Much of the increased awareness of the president-elect’s high-level personnel selections has to do with his choice of Hillary Clinton to serve as secretary of state.
Modest Backing for Israel in Gaza Crisis; No Desire for Greater U.S. Role
Americans have a mixed view of the war in Gaza, and see it in much the same way as they viewed Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. As in the past, Americans express strong support for Israel, but there is limited approval of the current military action. However, Hamas is largely seen as primarily responsible for the outbreak of violence.
Mideast Competes With Economy and Obama for Public Interest
Public interest in the Middle East conflict is on par with other recent foreign news stories, but is lower than in the Israel-Hezbollah war in August 2006. A slightly greater percentage say the media have not been critical enough of Hamas than say the same about coverage of Israel (30% vs. 25%, respectively).
Gains Seen On Minority Discrimination — But Little Else
As Obama prepares to take office, majorities say the country is losing ground on many key issues, especially economic ones.