June 8, 2010

War: Not Good for Conversation

36%

Compared with 2006, far fewer Americans are discussing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just 36% of Americans say that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come up often in conversations with friends and family. This is not simply an aversion to discussing war, but rather a shift in national priorities. In the fall of 2006, a majority of the public (54%) said that the two wars frequently came up in conversation. In that September 2006 survey, only “gas and energy prices” was a more popular news topic of conversation among Americans. Terrorism has also become a far less popular topic of conversation among friends and family (47% discussed it in 2006, just 32% do so now). Today, far more are focusing on economic news. While a majority talked about the economy in 2006 (54%), nearly seven-in-ten (68%) bringup the economy in conversation now. Discussions about the job situation have grown even more in frequency (by 23 percentage points). In 2006 just 42% of Americans brought up the job situation often when talking with friends and family; fully 65% do so now. Read More