For the past six years, a bi-partisan polling team has regularly surveyed American voters about their impressions of the United Nations and global affairs more broadly. Some of the questions they ask a sample of Republican, Democratic and Independent voters rotate based on events in the news. Others questions stay the same, to see how opinions change over time.
The latest iteration of the poll, sponsored by the Better World Campaign, was just released. It shows that favorable impressions of the United Nations are at an all time high.
The poll does not speculate on why the UN is suddenly comparatively more popular than in years’ past. But I have my guesses: First, the poll comes on the heels of a successful UN General Assembly to which the Pope brought a degree of star power. Also, unlike in years past no high profile speaker (think: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hugo Chavez) used their time at the dais to bash the United States, so those negative associations were muted
But one other finding also suggests that a decent number of likely American voters were also tuned into the substance of the discussions at the UN. The poll finds that 22 percent of those surveyed professed awareness of the “Global Goals,” which were adopted during the General Assembly. This is far higher than I would have expected. I suspect it has much to do with the fact that the Pope’s address focused on these goals, and also the massive public campaign around the global goals, including the Global Citizen Concert in Central Park, which was broadcast live in MSNBC.
Other key findings of this survey:
Voters believe it is better for the United States to work with allies and through international organizations (82%) than to act mainly on our own (15%).
Overwhelmingly, voters continue to believe it is important for the United States to maintain an active role within the United Nations (89% important/11% not important), with a substantial majority (66%) saying it is “very important” the United States do so.
Two‐thirds of voters support the United States paying our dues to the United Nations on time and in full (67% favor/30% oppose). And more than seven out of ten voters support the United States paying our peacekeeping dues to the United Nations on time and in full (73% favor/24% oppose).
And also, the UN fairs better than other international (and national) institutions.
Check out the full survey data here. Interesting stuff!
*As regular readers are aware, the Better World Campaign supports this site.