Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Americans Oppose Closing Of Guantanamo Bay

Posted Jul 01, 2014 at 8:15 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "29% of Americans support closing the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and moving its prisoners to U.S. prisons, while two in three (66%) oppose the idea. Despite the recent controversy surrounding the release of five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdal's release from Afghanistan, Americans' views have barely budged since 2009."

How Satisfied Are We With Government?

Posted Jul 19, 2013 at 8:09 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by Gallup, "Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be satisfied with the work the government is doing in each of 19 different areas. The parties' satisfaction levels diverge most on healthcare and foreign affairs, and diverge least on poverty, national parks, and transportation." Here is Gallup's chart:

Satisfaction With Work Federal Government Is Doing in Different Areas, by Political Party, June 2013

What Worries Americans Most About The Future?

Posted Jul 12, 2013 at 8:49 AM by Maurice Berger

What worries Americans the most about the future? A New survey by Gallup reports that "economic issues dominate Americans' concerns about the nation's future. Americans say the economy (17%) is their greatest worry or concern for the future of the United States, followed by the federal debt (11%). 5% or more also mention jobs and international wars and conflicts." Here is Gallup's chart:

Americans' Top Worry for the Future

American More Concerned About Civil Liberties Than Anti-Terrorism Efforts

Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:20 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Time/CNN reports that Americans say they are more concerned about the restriction to civil liberties from the US government enacting new anti-terrorism policies (61%) than they are concerned about the government failing to enact strong new anti-terrorism policies (31%). CNN/Time also notes that "concerns about government encroachment on civil liberties, however, have grown in recent years, despite the Boston attacks. When asked if they would be willing to give up some civil liberties if that were necessary to curb terrorism, 49% of Americans said they were not willing, compared to 40% who were willing. A poll by the Los Angeles Times in 1996 after the Atlanta Olympics bombing asked the same question, and found resistance from only 23% of the country."

Majority of Americans Trust Administration On Benghazi Attacks

Posted Dec 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by CNN/ORC reports that a solid majority of Americans say that the Obama administration did not intentionally misled the public on what it knew in the wake of the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks. 40% say the administration made misleading statements; while 56% saying reject that idea. Despite this positive result, the poll also reported that "only 43% [of Americans] are satisfied with the way the Obama administration has handled the matter in the past few months; half are dissatisfied."

Public Disapproves of Adminstration's Handling of Benghazi, Sees No Cover Up.

Posted Nov 28, 2012 at 9:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CNN/ORC poll reports that 54% disapprove of the White House's handling of the attacks in Benghazi. But an equal majority, 54%, also do not believe that the administration purposefully misled the public.

Gallup: Economy Remains Problem For Obama

Posted Aug 22, 2012 at 9:42 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "three months before the election, President Barack Obama gets good marks from Americans for his handling of terrorism, fair marks for education and foreign affairs, but poor marks on immigration and three big economic issues: the federal budget deficit, creating jobs, and the economy generally." Here is Gallup's chart:

President Barack Obama Approval on Issues

Gallup: Americans Question War on Terrorism

Posted Sep 14, 2011 at 1:41 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, Americans' views on who is winning the war on terrorism are almost identical now to where they were in October 2001. "Americans are roughly evenly split, 46% to 42%, between the view that the U.S. and its allies are winning the war on terrorism and the view that neither the U.S. nor the terrorists are winning. Despite the similarity between views now and 10 years ago, there has been a great deal of change in the intervening time, including points in 2002 and 2003 when two-thirds of the public felt that the U.S. was winning."

Republican and Democrats Differ On Bin Laden Credit

Posted May 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM by Maurice Berger

A Smart Politics monitoring ans analysis of congressional press releases issued this week the mission to kill Osama bin Laden reports that 60% of House Democrats credited President Obama's role; just 24% of GOP congressmen even mentioned Obama.

Most Americans Support Obama On Bin Laden Photos

Posted May 10, 2011 at 12:51 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released NBC News poll reports that an outright majority of Americans--52%, according to the survey--strongly believe President Obama made the right decision not to release the photos of Osama bin Laden after he was killed; 24% strongly oppose the decision. Overall, 64% agreed with the president and 29% disagreed.

President Continues To Enjoy Post-Bin Laden Bounce

Posted May 09, 2011 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

As of Sunday morning, President Obama continues to enjoy an appreciable bounce in his approval rating following the successful mission to capture Osama Bin Laden. His aggregate approval rating comes in at 51.6%; his disapproval number 42.3%, for an aggregate advantage of +9.3%.

Republicans Favor Racial Profiling At Airports

Posted Dec 03, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll reports that Republicans are the only partisan group that favors racial profiling at airports. Democrats and independents remain strongly opposed. 53% of Republicans say that race "should be included in a passenger's security profile." Just 39% of independents and 31% of Democrats agree.

Americans More Confident In War On Terror

Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 1:19 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen survey, "voter confidence in America's conduct of the War on Terror has reached its highest level since last May. The survey finds that 50% of likely voters now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror, up 12 points from last month and 14 points from late-December.  Only 21% now believe the terrorists hold the advantage, down 10 points from January and the lowest level measured since last August. Another 21% say neither side is winning, a figure that has held relatively steady over the past several years. Democrats are slightly more confident in U.S. efforts in the war, with 54% who believe the United States and its allies are winning. A month ago, just 41% of Democrats felt that way. Forty-eight percent (48%) of Republicans and 46% of those not affiliated with either party agree."

Public Trusts Republicans More on Issue Of Terrorism

Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 1:10 AM by Maurice Berger

CQ Politics, reporting on a new Gallup poll, writes: The public has gained confidence in the Democratic Party's ability to protect the country from terrorism, but Republicans still lead with roughly the same level of confidence they held a year after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks . . .  Republicans' standing in public confidence is 49 percent, statistically the same as it was the first time the question was asked on the one-year anniversary of the attacks, when it was 50 percent, Gallup said. Democrats gained an edge for two years in the middle of the decade when President George W. Bush's was at low ebb but have now fallen back to 42 percent."

Not Tough Enough On Terrorism?

Posted May 27, 2009 at 1:48 AM by Maurice Berger

A plurality of Americans, according to Rasmussen Reports, believe the US is worried too much about individual liberties in the war on terror: "In the tension between individual rights and national security, 39% of voters nationwide now believe that our legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights . . . 24% believe our legal system worries too much about national security and 25% say the balance is about right. Those figures confirm a shift in perceptions that was first recorded a month ago. In April, 37% thought the courts were too concerned about individual rights. Prior to 2009, the number who held this concern ranged from 25% to 34%.

Americans Approve Of Obama's Handing Of Terrorist Interrogation Issue, Of Pelosi, Not So Much

Posted May 26, 2009 at 2:05 AM by Maurice Berger

If Americans approve of President Obama's handling of the terrorist interrogation issue, they're decidedly down on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's handling of the matter. According to Gallup: "More Americans disapprove than approve of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's handling of the matter concerning the government's use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects. Majorities approve of President Barack Obama's and the CIA's handling of the matter. Even though Obama has pledged that the United States will no longer use harsh interrogation techniques (like water boarding) that many consider to be torture, the issue has remained in the news, with some in Congress -- including Pelosi -- calling for an investigation into the use of such techniques during the Bush administration. Last week, Pelosi attempted to respond to allegations that she learned of the use of water boarding in September 2002 during a CIA briefing of congressional leaders. In her press conference, she asserted that the CIA misled her by denying that water boarding was being used, even though government reports indicate it had been used on an al Qaeda terror suspect in the month prior to that briefing. The CIA responded and disputed her assertions that the agency misled her. Republican leaders have roundly criticized her remarks."

Most Americans Reject Former VP Cheney's View On Terrorism

Posted Apr 15, 2009 at 2:22 AM by Maurice Berger

A strong majority of Americans, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, reject former Vice-President Dick Cheney assertion that the nation is less safe under Obama's leadership: the poll "indicates Americans don't agree with former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent assertion that President Barack Obama's actions have increased the chances of a terrorist attack against the United States. [The] survey also suggests that most people support the president's plans in Afghanistan — up to a point. 72% of those questioned in the poll released Monday disagree with Cheney's view that some of Obama's actions have put the country at greater risk, with 26% agreeing with the former vice president. In a March 15 interview on CNN's "State of the Union with John King," Cheney said the Bush administration's anti-terror strategies "were absolutely essential to the success we enjoyed of being able to collect the intelligence that led us to defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the United States since 9/11. I think that's a great success story,' Cheney said. 'President Obama campaigned against it all across the country. And now he is making some choices that, in my mind, that will in fact raise the risk to the American people of another attack.'"

US Public Trusts President Obama On Issue Of Terrorism

Posted Feb 20, 2009 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger

A Pew Research Center poll reports that most Americans trust President Obama on the issue of terrorism: "Most Americans say his administration’s policies will reduce the likelihood of another major attack on the United States. But as in recent years, the public remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat of terrorism. Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the threat of terrorism by more than two-to-one (50% approve vs. 21% disapprove), while 29% offer no opinion. Yet opinion is much more closely divided over Obama’s decision to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in the next year. Fewer than half (46%) approve of the decision while 39% disapprove."

Gitmo Shutdown: Public Evenly Split

Posted Feb 02, 2009 at 7:05 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll reports that Americans are evenly split about the Obama Administration's plan to shutdown the prison camp at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba: "44% agree with President Obama’s decision to close the camp within the next year, while 42% disagree in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure which is the best course to follow" In late November of last year, just 32% of voters said Gitmo should be closed down; 49%) opposed the closing. "Democrats have changed their minds far more than Republicans. In November, 47% of Democrats favored closing the Guantanamo prison, while 79% of Republicans disagreed. Now 71% of Democrats agree with Obama’s decision to close it, with 68% of GOP voters opposed. The views of unaffiliated voters’ are little changed."

Obama's America (Part 6): The State Of The Nation--Foreign Affairs

Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 6:27 PM by Maurice Berger

Overall, Americans appear to be happier with the state of US foreign policy--and the state of the world itself--than with the present-day economic situation. American perceptions about the Iraq, for example, improved dramatically in 2008. A USA Today/Gallup poll taken this  summer reported that "nearly half of Americans say the U.S. troop surge in Iraq made the situation there better, up from 40% in February and just 22% a year ago. Accordingly, the percentage believing the surge 'is not making much difference' has declined from 51% a year ago, and 38% in February, to just 32%." In late summer, Americans were split down the middle on the issue of whether the United States should set an explicit timetable or target date for the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq -- "when it is made clear that withdrawal is a given in either circumstance." Americans view the Arab-Israeli conflict with surprising optimism (despite the recent confligration in Gaza): "52% now believe it is possible for Israel and the Palestinians to live in peace, but just 35% think Obama is likely to help end the conflict during his presidency. Only 12% say Obama is Very Likely to help bring the two sides together, while 23% say it is not at likely." As for Americans view of terrorism: despite warnings of a possible attack during the early months of the new administration, a poll this fall found that "while a new bipartisan report concludes that the United States remains 'dangerously vulnerable' to terrorist attacks, most Americans do not fear being directly affected. Only 38% are very or somewhat worried that they or a family member will become a victim of terrorism. This is down from 47% last July, and from a high of 59% in October 2001, but is still short of a post-9/11 low of 28% in January 2004."

Americans Afraid Of Terror Attack In New Obama Presidency

Posted Dec 09, 2008 at 2:16 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, a hefty majority of Americans fear a terror attack during the first year of Obama's presidemcy. (Indeed, major terror attacks on US soil occured in 1993 and 2001, during the first year of the Clinton and Bush administrations respectively.) The breakdown id as follows: "59% say a terrorist attack in the United States like the one last week in India is at least somewhat likely in the next year. 23% say it is Very Likely. Just 5% say such an attack is not at all likely to occur here in the next 12 months."