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Americans Say Obama No Longer Deserves His Nobel Prize

Thursday, October 09, 2014

As the winners of this year's Nobel Prizes continue to be announced this week, Americans remain skeptical about the politics behind the process and question President Obama’s Peace Prize win in 2009.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of American Adults think politics play a role in the awarding of Nobel Prizes. Just 17% disagree, but 30% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-five percent (55%) of adults say that, six years into his presidency, President Obama still does not deserve the prize that he won in 2009. Twenty-six percent (26%) think he still deserves the prize. Another 18% are not sure.
 The number who think politics play a role is up slightly from 51% last year. In 2009, the year President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, belief that politics played a role in the awarding of the prizes climbed into the high 50s. In 2008, only 40% felt that way.

Just 35% of Americans believe the Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award a person can win. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree, while another 27% are not sure. 

That’s a slightly less positive view of the prize than adults expressed last year, but is generally in line with previous years.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on October 6-7, 2014 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.

In the individual award categories, 28% think the Peace Prize is the most prestigious, while nearly as many (27%) say that of the Nobel Prize for Medicine. The physics award is a distant third, with 12% who view it as the most prestigious, while six percent (6%) rate the economics awards as the most respected. Only three percent  (3%) feel that way about the Nobel Prizes for chemistry and literature. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats think Obama still deserves the Peace Prize, but 22% disagree and 22% are undecided. Most Republicans (89%) and adults not affiliated with either party (61%) don’t think he still deserves the prize. Republicans and unaffiliateds feel more strongly than Democrats do that politics play a role in awarding of the prizes.

Men are more likely than women to think politics play a role in the awarding of Nobel Prizes. Women place slightly more prestige on the prize than men do.

Forty-five percent (45%) of adults under 40 think the Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award a person can win, but just 30% of older Americans agree.

But then just 30% of all adults follow news stories about the Nobel Prize winners each year, with six percent (6%) who follow Very Closely. Most (67%) don’t follow the process closely, if at all.

President Obama focused much of his 2008 campaign on scaling back U.S. military involvement overseas, but most voters believe the U.S. military has too many missions these days and think it’s likely that fighting in Iraq will soon be another job for it to do.

Still, most voters are on board with the president’s plans to fight the radical group ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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