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67% Say U.S. Should Steer Clear of Political Unrest in Arab Nations

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Americans are wary of the current chaotic political situation in several Arab countries including Libya but strongly believe the United States should stay out of the picture.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 29% of American Adults think a change of government in any of these Arab countries will be good for the United States, while slightly more (33%) feel such a change will be bad for America. Twelve percent (12%) say it will have no impact, but one-in-four (26%) aren’t sure what to expect. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

However, as with the recent turmoil in Egypt, most Americans (67%) say the United States should leave the situation in the Arab countries alone. Just 17% say the United States should get more directly involved in the political situation there, but another 17% are not sure.

Americans are skeptical about the political changes that are likely to come from the growing - and, in Libya’s case, violent - protests. Thirty percent (30%) believe it is at least somewhat likely that most of these Arab countries will become free, democratic and peaceful over the next few years, but that includes just four percent (4%) who say it is Very Likely. Sixty-one percent (61%) view a democratic and peaceful outcome as unlikely, with 14% who say it is Not At All Likely.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe that it’s generally good for America when dictators in other countries are replaced with leaders selected in free and fair elections.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on February 21-22, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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