For the First Time in 40 Years, Most Americans Believe U.S. Declining as Global Power

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Most Americans today believe their nation is in decline as a world power, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Council on Foreign Relations.


For the first time in 40 years of the quadrennial “America’s Place in the World” survey, 53% of respondents said the U.S. plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago.


Those saying the U.S. is less powerful have increased 12 points since 2009 and more than doubled— from just 20%--since 2004, the Pew center reported.


An even larger majority (70%) said their country is losing respect internationally—the highest since May 2008.


“The public thinks that the nation does too much to solve world problems, and increasing percentages want the U.S. to ‘mind its own business internationally’ and pay more attention to problems here at home,” the center reported.


Respondents also took a dim view of President Barack Obama’s record on foreign policy, with 56% disapproving of his work.


The public also disapproves, specifically, of his handling of Syria, Iran, China and Afghanistan by wide margins.


A slim majority (51%) did approve of Obama’s job performance on terrorism.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Public Sees U.S. Power Declining as Support for Global Engagement Slips (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press)

Record Number of Americans Believe the Government is Too Powerful (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)  

As a Brand, United States Drops to 8th Place (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)        

U.S. Popularity Abroad Moves into Positive Territory (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)      


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