Galluping Conservatives

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According to a recent Gallup Poll (registration required), Republicans are far more likely than Democrats or independents to agree with the idea that "U.S. should take the leading role in world affairs." Thirty-six percent of GOPpers said yes to that, versus 23 percent of Dems and 20 percent of indies.

Writes Gallup contributing editor Darren K Carlson,

Further, those who say they have a conservative political ideology are significantly more likely than moderates and twice as likely as liberals to say the United States should take a leading role in solving international problems. Similarly, nearly 4 in 10 (39%) of those who approve of George W. Bush's handling of foreign affairs believe the United States should take the leading role, compared to just 15% of those who disapprove of Bush's handling of foreign affairs.

These differences reflect a shift of opinion compared with 2001. At that time, there was essentially no difference according to partisanship or ideology, with about one in six of all partisan and all ideological groups in favor of a leading U.S. role in world affairs. Much of the recent increase in the public's willingness to see the United States take the lead results from changes in Republicans' and conservatives' changing views on the matter.

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  1. I’d be curious to see what the answers were during the Clinton years. Seems that Republicans spent a lot of time back then complaining that the United States was getting unduly entangled in world affairs. Which only proves that partisanship trumps ideology every time.

  2. Yes, it’s almost as if there was some huge event that changed people’s worldviews.

  3. Seems to me that our incessant meddling in other nations’ affairs is the reason we are in the predicament we are in today.

  4. Partisanship is definitely the key. Many Democrats, incl. former Pres. Carter, chastise GOPers for ‘ignoring’ the Israel-Palestine crisis. Meddling is fine as long as it’s supported by the right party. ‘Solving the world’s problems’ or ‘being the world’s policeman’ are ready-made slogans that the opposition party trots out whenever it’s handy. I certainly think James’ point gets to some of the shift among conservatives, but I think it’s responsible for a small segment of the population (or of self-identified conservatives).

  5. Yeah, who do we think we are? My country makes me sick.

  6. Gee, James… what could that be?

  7. Steve:

    In the case of politicians, the 2000 elections are the only event I can thing of that would make them change their views. 🙂

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