Tags: Pew | global | influence | low

Public Says America's Power Has Fallen to 40-Year Low

Image: Public Says America's Power Has Fallen to 40-Year Low

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 10:14 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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For the first time in 40 years, a majority of Americans believe that the global power and prestige of the U.S. are declining, a new poll reveals.

The Pew Research Center survey found that 53 percent of the country says that the U.S. has a less effective role as a world leader compared to 10 years ago.

The study also showed that 51 percent of the respondents said that the government gets too involved in the world's crises while 52 percent believe it should "mind its own business internationally" and pay more attention to problems at home.

The study also revealed that 56 percent of the nation disapproves of President Barack Obama's foreign policy while only 36 percent approve. The public, in particular, disapproves of his handling of crises in Syria, Iran, China and Afghanistan by wide margins.

Obama's job rating, in fact, is below 40 percent for nine of 10 foreign policy issues tested, although when it comes to handling terrorism more approve of Obama's policies (51 percent) than disapprove (44 percent).

Just over half of Americans (51 percent), a figure 10 percent higher than a similar poll in September, say that Obama is not tough enough on foreign policy matters and national security issues while 37 percent say his approach is fine.

The survey also revealed that 37 percent approve of the way Obama is handling healthcare and just 31 percent approve of his handling of the economy.

The Pew research also showed that people think China, with 48 percent, is the world’s leading economic power while just 31 percent believe it's the United States. But a majority of Americans (68 percent) continue to think that the U.S. is the world’s leading military power, compared to just 14 percent for China.

The findings are part of the America’s Place in the World quadrennial survey of foreign policy attitudes, which is conducted in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations.

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