In Depth: Topics A to Z

U.S. Position in the World

Trend: On the whole, would you say that you are satisfied or dissatisfied with the position of the United States in the world today?

Trend: How Do You Think the United States Rates in the Eyes of the World?

Trend: On the whole, would you say that you are satisfied or dissatisfied with the position of the United States in the world today?

Trend: In general, how do you think the United States rates in the eyes of the world -- very favorably, somewhat favorably, somewhat unfavorably, or very unfavorably?

Trend: Do you think leaders of other countries around the world have respect for [president], or do you think they don't have much respect for him?

Trend: Do you think the United States is number one in the world militarily, or that it is only one of several leading military powers?

Trend: Do you feel that it's important for the United States to be number one in the world militarily, or that being number one is not that important, as long as the U.S. is among the leading military powers?

Recent trend: What one country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today? [OPEN-ENDED]

Trend: What do you think foreign trade means for America? Do you see foreign trade more as -- an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports or a threat to the economy from foreign imports?

Trend: Which one of the following do you think is the leading economic power in the world today -- [ROTATED: the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, Japan, India]?

Trend: Looking ahead twenty years, which one of the following countries do you expect to be the world's leading economic power at that time -- [ROTATED: the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, Japan, India]?

Next, I am going to read you a list of possible threats to the vital interests of the United States in the next 10 years. For each one, please tell me if you see this as a critical threat, an important but not critical threat, or not an important threat at all. [RANDOM ORDER]

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the role the U.S. plays in world affairs?

Trend: Do you think the United States is No. 1 in the world economically, or that it is only one of several leading economic powers?

Trend: Do you feel that it's important for the United States to be number one in the world economically, or that being number one is not that important, as long as the U.S. is among the leading economic powers?

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Defending our allies' security

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Securing adequate supplies of energy for the U.S.

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Helping other countries build democracies

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Promoting and defending human rights in other countries

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Preventing future acts of international terrorism

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Working with organizations like the United Nations to bring about world cooperation

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Promoting favorable trade policies for the U.S. in foreign markets

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Promoting economic development in other countries

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Maintaining superior military power worldwide

Trend: Protecting weaker nations against foreign aggression

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of possible foreign policy goals that the United States might have. For each one please say whether you think it should be a very important foreign policy goal of the United States, a somewhat important goal, not too important a goal, or not an important goal at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? Helping to improve the standard of living of less developed nations

In your view, what is the greatest advantage the United States has over other countries?

Please say if conditions in the United States are the best, above average, average, below average, or the worst, relative to the all other modern industrialized countries.

Trend: Next we would like you to think about the role the U.S. should play in trying to solve international problems. Do you think the U.S. should -- [ROTATED: take the leading role in world affairs, take a major role, but not the leading role, take a minor role, (or) take no role at all in world affairs]?

Note for tables: * Less than 0.5%; (vol.) = Volunteered response

Next, how important do you think what happens in each of the following countries is to the United States today -- would you say it is vitally important, important but not vital, not too important, or not at all important? First, how about what happens in … [RANDOM ORDER]?

Afghanistan

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

51

30

13

5

2

2007 Feb 1-4

54

30

11

3

3

Canada

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

39

38

16

5

2

2007 Feb 1-4

36

40

16

7

2

2000 May 18-21

37

46

11

3

3

China

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

70

22

5

2

2

2007 Feb 1-4

58

30

7

3

3

2000 May 18-21

48

38

8

3

3

Egypt

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

45

34

15

3

3

India

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

31

46

15

4

4

2007 Feb 1-4

28

44

20

4

5

2000 May 18-21

22

43

23

6

6

Iran

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

57

24

11

5

3

2007 Feb 1-4

65

22

6

3

3

Iraq

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

52

32

10

5

2

2007 Feb 1-4

70

19

6

3

2

Israel

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

54

32

7

3

3

2007 Feb 1-4

55

30

9

4

3

Mexico

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

50

34

12

3

2

2007 Feb 1-4

42

42

10

4

3

North Korea

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

59

24

9

6

2

2007 Feb 1-4

64

21

8

4

2

Pakistan

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

48

31

13

4

3

2007 Feb 1-4

47

36

9

4

3

Russia

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Feb 2-5

36

46

13

3

2

2007 Feb 1-4

40

40

14

4

3

2000 May 18-21

46

40

8

3

3

Australia

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Feb 1-4

21

41

26

8

3

2000 May 18-21

17

41

32

6

4

Cuba

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Feb 1-4

31

41

19

7

2

Great Britain

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Feb 1-4

43

36

14

3

3

2000 May 18-21

36

42

16

3

3

Japan

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Feb 1-4

40

41

12

4

3

2000 May 18-21

42

43

9

3

3

Syria

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Feb 1-4

42

33

15

4

6

Venezuela

Vitally
important

Important,
not vital

Not too
important

Not at all
important

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Feb 1-4

29

38

22

5

6

Do you think the United States does or does not have a special responsibility to be the leading nation in world affairs?

Yes, has special
responsibility

No, does not

No
opinion

%

%

%

2010 Dec 10-12

66

31

3

Because of the United States' history and its Constitution, do you think the U.S. has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world, or don't you think so?

(Asked of those who think U.S. has unique character) Do you think the United States is -- or is not -- currently at risk of losing its unique character?

COMBINED RESULTS: BASED ON NATIONAL ADULTS

2010 Dec 10-12

%

Has unique character

80

At risk of losing it

(62)

Not at risk of losing it

(18)

Unsure

(*)

Does not have unique character

18

No opinion

2

* Less than 0.5%

Just your best guess, do you think -- [RANDOM ORDER] -- the U.S. has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world, or not?

2010 Dec 10-12
sorted by "Yes"

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

Ronald Reagan believed

86

9

5

Bill Clinton believes

77

19

4

George W. Bush believes

74

22

4

Barack Obama believes

58

37

5

In twenty years, do you think the United States will be -- number one in the world economically, only one of several leading economic, or not among the leading economic powers in the world?

U.S. will be
No. 1

U.S. will be
one of several

U.S. not among
leading powers

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2010 Jan 8-10

12

73

14

1


In twenty years, do you think the United States will be -- number one in the world militarily, only one of several leading military powers, or not among the leading military powers in the world?

U.S. will be
No.1

U.S. will be
one of several

U.S. not among
leading powers

No
opinion

2010 Jan 8-10

36%

56

6

1

Turning to the issue of foreign aid, do you think the United States is now spending -- [ROTATED: too little on foreign aid, about the right amount, (or) too much on foreign aid]?

Too
little

About the
right
amount

Too
much

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2009 Feb 9-12

6

21

65

8

2007 Feb 1-4

10

23

63

4

2006 Feb 6-9

9

23

64

4

2005 Feb 7-10

8

35

54

3

2004 Feb 9-12

9

25

64

2

2002 Feb 4-6

8

34

54

4

2001 Feb 1-4

9

32

53

6

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