Islamic State fears lead US foreign policy concerns in survey

Poll Dems Believe Climate Change Threatens US 'Well-Being' More than ISIS

"Nearly half (46%) say the United States is a less powerful and important world leader than it was 10 years ago, while 21% say it is more powerful, and 31% say it is about as powerful as it was then", writes Pew.

Fifty per cent of respondents said China's emergence as a world power was a major threat, 80 per cent cited Islamic State as a major fear and 55 per cent said they were threatened by the number of refugees leaving Syria and Iraq.

Six-in-ten Americans (60%) view the rapid spread of infectious diseases from country to country as a major threat, up somewhat from 52% in August 2014 (in the midst of the Ebola crisis). Just 37 percent said the USA should help other countries deal with their problems.

Significant partisan splits remain: Democrats are more internationalist, Republicans are more distrustful of the rest of the world, and both sides rank threats differently.

The issues range from the greatest threats to the how assertive a role the United States should play in dealing with them.

And 55 percent of Republicans view global economic engagement negatively, compared with 44 percent of Democrats.

The Pew report also surveyed what the USA should do for other countries.

Trump and Clinton supporters generally agree on the balance between homeland protection measures and civil liberties, while Sanders supporters disagree: 66 percent of Trump's supporters think the country's anti-terrorism policies have not gone far enough, and 20 percent think too far, threatening civil liberties.

At the same time that American attitudes on the military effort are improving, however, more now see ISIS as a very serious threat. Just 30% of liberal Democrats see these refugees as a major threat to the well-being of the U.S.

"The public views America's role in the world with considerable apprehension and concern", according to a Pew Research Center report on "America's Place in the World" released Thursday. Businessman Donald Trump is the remaining Republican presidential candidate.

Again, Trump backers stand out, with fully 85% identifying refugees as a "major threat".

There is no sign of growing public concern about either China or Russian Federation.

"It is necessary that we invest in our infrastructure, stop sending foreign aid to countries that hate us and use that money to rebuild our tunnels, roads, bridges and schools-and nobody can do that better than me", the Republican said during his presidential announcement.

Over the past two years, there has been no rise in the share of the public that sees Russian Federation as an adversary.

Views of China are little changed over the last several years.

Overall, 45 percent of Americans think military spending should stay about as it is, while 35 percent believe that it should be increased and 24 percent think it should be decreased. At the same time, the number of Americans who support spending more on national defense is rising, especially among Republicans, based on a national survey.

That jump can be attributed largely to Republicans, with 61 percent of GOP adults surveyed favoring higher defense spending. However, they are still twice as more likely to support Trump's line than other Republicans.

There are wide partisan and ideological differences when it comes to national defense spending. Sanders has called for cuts to defense spending, while Clinton has called for an examination of the spending.

Among Democratic voters, Bernie Sanders supporters are far more likely than those who support Hillary Clinton to favor cutting back USA defense spending (43 percent vs. 25 percent).

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