A large majority of Americans think that Malala Yousafzai's Peace Prize was well deserved, but opinion is divided on whether the Peace Prize committee's decisions are generally good
It seems that Democrats and Republicans agree on very little these days, but they do agree on one thing: Malala Yousafzai deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. The 17-year old shared this year’s prize with Kilash Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights activist, and Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll overwhelmingly approve of the Pakistani teenager’s selection.
In a different response from the one they gave in 2009, when President Barack Obama won the prize after just a few months in office, both Democrats and Republicans approve of the prize. 78% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans approve of this year’s award. In 2009, more Americans overall disapproved than approved of giving the award to the American President.
In addition, the public rejects the option that while Malala may have been a good selection, the Nobel Peace Prize committee should have waited until Malala was older before giving her the prize. Just one in five responded that, while they were happy she won, the Nobel Committee should have waited until she was older than 17, and might have accomplished more.
There is no partisan difference this year, and little of the hesitancy that the public expressed in 2009. Then, 39% felt that the Nobel Committee should have waited longer to consider President Obama. 53% of Democrats agreed. And in 2009, eight in ten Republicans thought the award to the President was a mistake. Two-thirds of Republicans today agree that Malala deserved it this year.
But the partisan view of the Nobel Committee’s decisions in general remains. Several recent American Nobel award winners have been Democrats – former President Jimmy Carter, President Obama and former Vice President Al Gore. Five years ago, Republicans overwhelmingly though the Nobel Peace Prize committee made bad decisions. Today, most Republicans think the same.