In Open-Ended Question, Americans Favor Moderate Foreign Policy Voices

Brookville, NY (March 20, 2018)– A new Long Island University Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis poll on items ‘in the news’ shows that even in a polarized nation, there remains an opportunity to shape public opinion on key events and issues.

The LIU Hornstein poll showed that a pluarality of Americans (39 percent) had no opinion on President Trump’s decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, while the remainder were evenly divided on whether or not they agreed with the decision. An even greater plurality (47 percent) registered no opinion on CIA Director Mike Pompeo serving as the next Secretary of State, while just 30 percent came out in immediate opposition to the pick.

“One premise of recent coverage is that Americans are almost reflexively divided into partisan camps on any decisions regarding the Trump Administration,” said Dr. Edward Summers, Fellow at the LIU Hornstein Center. “This poll shows that on certain issues, however, there remains an opportunity to shape public opinion. As confirmation hearings begin, we can expect a battle to form a narrative and shape opinion on these key nominees.”

Half of Americans expressed no opinion on the selection of Deputy Director Gina Haspel to replace Director Pompeo as head of the CIA, while just 23 percent expressed immediate opposition.

On an open-ended question about who would make a better choice than CIA Director Pompeo to serve as the next Secretary of State, many Americans named well-known, moderate foreign policy voices. More than 10 people named the following—former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

On an open-ended question about who would make a better choice than Deputy Director Haspel to serve as the next CIA Director, no choices were named by 10 or more people. However, reflecting coverage about Deputy Director Haspel’s prior service with the agency, the only double-digit response was a variant of “someone who does not believe in torture.”

The findings are based on a published public opinion poll conducted from March 15-17, 2018, of 1007 Americans with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Dr. Summers, who obtained his Ph.D. in Public Policy, is a Fellow at the Hornstein Center. His career includes experience in public policy, higher education, and opinion research.

Long Island University

Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis

National Survey on Items ‘In the News’

March 15-17, 2018:

Q1. Was President Trump correct to ask Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to resign?
Yes, the Secretary of State serves at the pleasure of the president; 20.06% 202
Yes, their policy differences were too severe to bridge; 11.12% 112
No; 30.19% 304
No Opinion; 38.63% 389
Q2. Was President Trump correct to tap Director of Central Intelligence Michael Pompeo
to serve as the next Secretary of State?
Yes; 22.94% 231
No; 29.59% 298
No Opinion; 47.47% 478
Q3. If not Director Pompeo, who would have been a better choice for Secretary of State?
Q4. Was President Trump correct to select Gina Haspel, Deputy Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency, to replace Director Pompeo as Director of Central Intelligence?
Yes; 26.81% 270
No; 23.44% 236
No Opinion; 49.75% 501
Q5. If not Deputy Director Haspel, who would have been a better choice for

Director of Central Intelligence?

 

Q6. With which party to you primarily identify?

I primarily identify with the Republican party; 21.96% 220
I primarily identify with the Democratic party; 34.43% 345
I primarily identify with another party; 5.69% 57
I do not primarily identify with one party; 31.64% 317
Unsure; 6.29% 63
Q7. Are you registered to vote?
Yes; 87.82% 880
No, but I plan to register before the next election; 4.49% 45
No, and I do not plan to register; 5.09% 51
Unsure; 2.59% 26

 

Polling Methodology

This Long Island University Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling & Analysis poll was conducted through Suveymomkey March 15-17, 2018 in English to 1007 Americans over the age of 18. Polling data was sorted by age, gender & geographic location in efforts to ensure a nationwide representative sample. This poll has an overall margin of error of +/- 3 points.

 

The Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis at LIU conducts independent, fair, and balanced polling, empirical research, and analysis on a wide range of public issues including lifestyle preferences. The Center’s goals include informing the community, public and policy makers about critical issues.