Most Expect Future ’Acts of Terrorism’
The Boston Marathon bombings last week attracted broad public interest, with 63% of Americans saying they followed the news very closely. The incident appeared to confirm the public’s long-held belief that occasional terrorist acts are to be expected.
Public Divided over North Korea’s Intentions, Capability
While the public is divided over whether North Korea is willing and capable of following through on its threats against the United States, most Americans say the U.S. should take the threats very seriously.
Gun Debate Tops Public Interest
The public is paying far closer attention to news about the gun control debate than news about threats from North Korea or the debate over immigration policy.
After Fight Over CIA Director Ends, A Look at Public Opinion on Drones
The Senate on Thursday confirmed John Brennan to be the new director of the CIA after several senators took part in a filibuster focusing on the administration’s drone strategy. A majority of Americans support drone strikes against suspected terrorist targets abroad, but some (31%) express concerns are about the legality of the program.
Hagel Better Known, Viewed More Negatively
Unfavorable opinions of Chuck Hagel have increased over the past month as he has faced a bruising confirmation battle to become President Obama’s secretary of defense.
Continued Support for U.S. Drone Strikes
While U.S. drone strikes have faced new scrutiny in recent weeks, a majority of the public continues to support the program. Overall, 56% approve of the U.S. conducting missile strikes from pilotless aircraft to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; just 26% say they disapprove.
China and Cyber Attacks: A Top Concern of U.S. Experts
China’s alleged cyber-espionage campaigns against other governments, major corporations and, most recently, the media, have increasingly become a focus of U.S. officials and news reports.
Middle East Turmoil Closely Followed; Romney’s Comments Viewed Negatively
About four-in-ten Americans (43%) have followed news about the attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador very closely. Those following have much more positive opinions about Barack Obama’s handling of the situation than Mitt Romney’s comments on the crisis.
Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
Americans values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Party has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.
Public Takes Tough Line on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Just 30% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran.