If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What America Thinks: Is it Time for America to Mind Its Own Business?

When it comes to problems in other nations, U.S. voters for the most part want to be less involved. It's not America's role, they say, to be the world's policeman. But leaders in both major political parties, including the last two presidents, think it’s important for the United States to lend a hand to other nations in need. How far does the disagreement reach? We decided to find out what America thinks.

American voters have long teetered between indifference and full-on opposition to getting involved in other nation’s conflicts. Back during Libya’s political unrest in 2011, 63% felt the United States should leave the situation alone. Seventy-three percent (73%) said the same of Egypt and Syria during 2013’s “Arab Spring.” They haven't been very supportive of sending U.S. troops to fight the radical Islamic State group ISIS in Iraq or Syria either. Despite the imposition of economic sanctions against Russia and loud bipartisan calls for action over Ukraine, voters also aren't showing much interest in U.S. military involvement against our former Cold War rival.

Voters are even on the fence about further involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last year, 34% thought the United States should get more involved if the violence there continues, but 55% said we should leave the situation alone.

Half of voters believe our political leaders are a little too eager to send the military into harm's way.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says it's time to put America's interests first and end the government's nation-building efforts to establish democracies in the Middle East through use of the U.S. military and U.S. taxpayer dollars. Both Democratic and Republican party leaders including Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton attack that view, insisting that nation building is important to U.S. national security and to strong international relations. But only nine percent (9%) of voters consider U.S. nation-building efforts so far to be a success, and 53% agree with Trump that it's time to end them. Just 30% believe U.S. foreign policy in recent years has put America first.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.