America Adrift: Listening to What Americans Want From U.S. Foreign Policy

A U.S. flag flutters in the wind in Palm Beach, Florida, January 2019.

See also:America Adrift: How the U.S. Foreign Policy Debate Misses What Voters Really Want” by John Halpin, Brian Katulis, Peter Juul, Karl Agne, Jim Gerstein, and Nisha Jain

See also: American Foreign Policy Has Left Young Voters Behind: Here’s How To Get Them Back” by Katrina Mulligan, Blaine Johnson, and Abigail Bard

In 2019, the Center for American Progress, in partnership with public opinion and strategic consulting firm GBAO, devised a comprehensive research effort to listen to Americans and understand their views on foreign policy and national security. This effort involved a qualitative research program of focus groups and in-depth individual interviews followed by two nationwide polls of U.S. voters.

The main goal of this research was to understand the attitudes of American voters on foreign policy—including how these attitudes are shaped and what issues matter the most to voters. In exploring these views, CAP sought to inform the country’s current foreign policy debate with empirical data on the views of American voters with the hopes that this would contribute to better policies and ideas with the support of the American public. The following fact sheets outline the key findings from the second poll, conducted in July 2019, by key issue topics:

Brian Katulis is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Peter Juul is a senior policy analyst for National Security and International Policy at the Center. John Halpin is a senior fellow at the Center.