Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Public’s Economic Woes Persist
Americans don’t favor the current health care reform legislation, but most opponents prefer a new bill to no bill and more see their health care costs rising without reform than with it. Nearly everyone gives the national economy a negative rating; 70% of Americans say they have faced one or more job or financial-related problems in the past year
U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful
A new survey of both the public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations finds an increasingly isolationist sentiment among Americans. The public also differs with CFR members on increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, the threat posed by China and the use of torture.
Polling Wars: Hawks vs. Doves
The contrast between attitudes toward military involvement in Afghanistan and Iran fits into a temporal pattern. Americans generally like their wars to be successful or short — and ideally both.
Americans and Western Europeans Agree on Afghanistan-Pakistan Extremist Threat
While both Americans and Western Europeans generally believe the “Af-Pak” region potentially poses significant threats to national security, they do not share a common view about the deployment of military forces in Afghanistan.
Public Divided Over Afghan Troop Requests, But Still Sees Rationale for War
As Obama weighs difficult choices in Afghanistan, the public also appears to be finding it difficult to judge the merits of different options for expanding, maintaining or contracting the U.S. effort on that front.
Public Support for Afghanistan War Wanes
While an overwhelming number of Americans say the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan would represent a major threat to the U.S., just half support keeping troops in that country. Pluralities of Democrats, women and those with a high school education or less favor bringing troops home as soon as possible.
Few in NATO Support Call For Additional Forces in Afghanistan
Proposals to increase troop levels may face considerable opposition in many NATO countries, which were opposed to Obama’s original call for more forces.
Ideological Gaps Over Israel on Both Sides of Atlantic
The American public has long expressed strong support for Israel. In contrast, polls in Western Europe have frequently found more support for the Palestinians. But while they generally take different sides in the conflict, political ideology matters in both America and Europe.
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.