Foreign Policy And The Candidates

September 27, 2012, 12:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 9/22/2012) Americans expect changes in the country’s position in the world if Mitt Romney were to be elected President, but they are more likely to see a negative impact than a positive one when it comes to the respect other nations give the U.S., according to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll.

42% say the United States would be less respected by other countries if Romney became President. Only 27% think the country would be more respected. When it comes to the country’s position in the world if President Obama were re-elected, one in three Americans see no change. 37% (mostly Republicans) think the U.S. will be less respected if the President wins a second term; a quarter says it will be more respected.

Americans perceive little difference between the two nominees when it comes to keeping the United States safe from foreign threats, suggesting they may see national safety as somewhat outside a president’s control. More than a third of Americans see no difference if President Obama is re-elected, while a quarter think that about a Romney presidency. But no matter who is elected, more say the country will be less safe in the near future than think it will be more safe.

Foreign policy issues pale in comparison with domestic concerns in the importance Americans ascribe to them, however. Whereas over 60% of Americans say that issues such as the economy, health care, the budget deficit, and taxes are "very important," lower percentages say the same about foreign policy issues like terrorism or the war in Afghanistan.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association