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.
U.S. Use of Drones, Under New Scrutiny, Has Been Widely Opposed Abroad
The U.S. drone campaign against suspected terrorists is drawing new attention on Capitol Hill with the nomination of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be Director of Central Intelligence. But outside of the United States, opinion on the use of drones for targeted killings is already clear: there is considerable opposition to the drone campaign in a majority of nations surveyed.
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.
On Anniversary of bin Laden’s Death, Little Backing of al Qaeda
A year after the death of its leader, al Qaeda is widely unpopular among Muslim publics. Majorities in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey and Lebanon expressed negative views of the terrorist group.
Public Priorities: Deficit Rising, Terrorism Slipping
As the State of the Union approaches, the economy continues to be the public’s top priority. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority.
United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies
The public continues to be divided over many of the anti-terrorism policies that arose in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks ten years ago. These differences extend to opinions about whether U.S. wrongdoing prior to 9/11 may have motivated the attacks.
U.S. Image in Pakistan Falls No Further Following bin Laden Killing
Most Pakistanis see the U.S. as an enemy, consider it a potential military threat and oppose American-led anti-terrorism efforts. A majority also describes bin Laden’s death as a bad thing and many say it will have a negative impact on the already strained relations between the U.S. and their country.
Obama Bump Recedes a Bit
Barack Obama’s job approval rating has fallen slightly since the day after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced. But the balance of opinion regarding Obama’s job performance remains more positive than it was in early April. There also continues to be more optimism about the U.S. achieving its goals in Afghanistan than there was prior to bin Laden’s killing.
How the Media Have Covered bin Laden’s Death So Far
Contrary to what happens with most major national news events, the discussion of the death of Osama bin Laden in the mainstream and new media has not shifted quickly to political winners and losers. An analysis of hundreds of thousands of stories and millions of social media postings finds the discussion has remained focused on the facts of what happened.