Thursday October 23rd, 2014             A project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes

Iranian Public Ready to Make a Nuclear Deal, But Finds Some Demands Unacceptable

A new survey of the Iranian public released September 2014 finds that the majority of Iranians would support their government making a deal on Iran’s nuclear program that includes some key steps sought by P5+1 countries. Large majorities, however, deem some possible demands, such as dismantling half of Iran’s centrifuges, to be unacceptable. Also, there are widespread concerns that even if the United States makes a deal, it will not follow through and lift sanctions, but will find some other reason to keep them in place. View Press Release (PDF) | Read Report (PDF) | View Questionnaire (PDF)

Large Majority of Americans Favor Making a Deal with Iran on its Nuclear Program

As the clock runs out on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, a new study of the American public conducted by the Program for Public Consultation and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM) finds that 61 percent favor making a deal with Iran that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose additional intrusive inspections in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions. This includes 62 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents. The alternative option, being promoted by some members of Congress, calls for not continuing the current negotiations but increasing sanctions in an effort to get Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. This approach is endorsed by 35 percent. View Press Release | Read Report (PDF) | View Questionnaire (PDF)

New Study Finds People in Red and Blue Districts Largely Agree on What Government Should Do

A new study conducted by the Program for Public Consultation and released July 2 by Voice Of the People finds remarkably little difference between the views of people who live in red (Republican) districts or states, and those who live in blue (Democratic) districts or states on questions about what policies the government should pursue. The study analyzed 388 questions asking what the government should do in regard to a wide range of policy issues and found that that most people living in red districts/states disagreed with most people in blue districts/states on only four percent of the questions. Read More

Negative Views of Russia on the Rise

Views of Russia have strongly deteriorated since last year, as shown in the latest 24-country poll for BBC World Service conducted mostly before the events in Crimea. Feelings have become more negative in 13 countries polled, and are the most negative since the poll began in 2005. The poll also finds that views of the United States have worsened around the world, led by sharp increases in negative views among citizens of Spain (up 19 points), Germany (up 18 points) and Brazil (up 15 points). Read More | Download Full Report (PDF)

Large Majorities of Republicans and Democrats Agree on How to Reform Social Security

A new study, "Is It Really a Third Rail? How the American People Would Reform Social Security," released by the Program for Public Consultation on February 7, 2014, offers a provocative new look at public attitudes on the critical issue of Social Security reform, based on a recent online 'public consultation' with a large representative sample of Americans. When given information about the projected insolvency of Social Security and presented options for dealing with it, overwhelming majorities—including three in four Republicans and Democrats—favored taking steps that would eliminate most of the Social Security shortfall and a modest majority favored steps that would eliminate it entirely, through a combination of raising revenues and trimming benefits. Read More

Survey Reveals Common Ground Between Israelis and Palestinians on Peace Deal, But Obscured by Pessimism

An innovative survey of Israelis and Palestinians, released Dec. 6, 2013 at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution, found that pessimism about current negotiations and the readiness of the other side to compromise has obscured the fact that there is substantial common ground between a majority of Israelis and Palestinians on a comprehensive peace agreement.

Only 4% of Israelis and 11% of Palestinians believe that current negotiations will bring an agreement in the next year, and half of both Israelis and Palestinians believe a peace agreement will never be reached. However, when Israelis and Palestinians were presented the same eight- point package deal covering what many experts regard as a possible framework for an agreement, six in ten on both sides approved of their government supporting the deal if the other side would support it as well. Read More | Read Full Report | View Questionnaire

Framing of Syria issue key to public support

By Steven Kull
Originally published on CNN's Global Public Square on September 5, 2013

President Barack Obama must pull off a difficult balancing act if he wishes to bring the American public around to supporting - or at least not opposing - military action against Syrian targets. But contrary to some reporting, public opinion is not overwhelmingly opposed and is not even fully yet crystallized. Indeed, large numbers say they are not sure and, most significant, polls show that different ways of framing the objective of the action can elicit very different responses.

While the Obama administration has tried to frame the action as limited and narrowly targeted at degrading Syrian capacity to deliver chemical weapons and deterring their use, much analysis and commentary portrays the United States as potentially entering into military conflict with the Syrian government with an implied or explicit objective of influencing the outcome, of the civil war, by those who favor as well as oppose such a move. These different framings poll very differently.


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New Book by Steven Kull

Feeling Betrayed: The Roots of Muslim Anger at America

Though it has been nearly a decade since the attacks of September 11, the threat of terrorism emanating from the Muslim world has not subsided. U.S. troops fight against radical Islamists overseas, and on a daily basis, Americans pass through body scanners as part of the effort to defend against another attack. Naturally, many Americans wonder what is occurring in Muslim society that breeds such hostility toward the United States.

Steven Kull, a political psychologist and acknowledged authority on international public opinion, has sought to understand more deeply how Muslims see America. How widespread is hostility toward the United States in the Muslim world? And what are its roots? How much support is there for radical groups that attack Americans, and why?

For more information and to purchase, click here

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February 21, 2012 NPR segment titled "Defense Cuts May No Longer Be Political Sacred Cow" which extensively references the May 2012 Program for Public Consultation Defense Budget study.