Poll: Only 27% Say U.S. to Stay Most Powerful Nation

Sunday, 28 Mar 2010 02:43 PM


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Just 27 percent of U.S. voters now think the United States will still be the most powerful nation in the world at the end of the 21st century, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That's down eight points from the previous survey in February just after a highly publicized U.S. military surge in Afghanistan.

Thirty-nine percent (39 percent) say America will not be the most powerful nation at the end of the century, and another 35 percent are not sure.

Democrats are more confident than Republicans that the United States will still be No. 1. Voters not affiliated with either major political party are more evenly divided on the question.

Recent polling finds that a quarter (25 percent) of voters now rate China as a bigger threat to U.S. national security than five other key nations. That’s second only to Iran, which is viewed as the number one threat by 30 percent.

Only 16 percent of voters say America’s relationship with the Muslim world will be better one year from now than it is today. Thirty-five percent (35 percent) believe this relationship will get worse. Forty-one percent (41 percent) expect U.S.-Muslim relations to stay about the same.

The number of voters who believe relations will be better is up four points from the previous survey but is down 12 points from June 2009 just before President Barack Obama gave a major outreach speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, Egypt. The number of voters who feel U.S.-Muslim relations will worsen has remained fairly consistent since early October of last year. The president's outreach effort to the global Islamic community was one of the primary reasons cited for his winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Thirty-eight percent (38 percent) of voters in the Political Class say this relationship will improve, but only 21 percent of mainstream voters say the same. Liberals are more positive about U.S.-Muslim relations than moderates and conservatives.

Separate polling shows that confidence that America is winning the war on terror is down slightly this month, and belief that the United States is safer today than it was before 9/11 has hit its lowest level ever.

Israel’s insistence on building new settlements in disputed Palestinian territory has heightened tensions with the United States. Forty-nine percent (49 percent) of U.S. voters think Israel should be required to stop those settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

A majority (70 percent) of adults now view American society as fair and decent. Last month, 74 percent felt that way, tying the highest finding ever. Just 19 percent think it’s unfair and discriminatory.

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