The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Gallup: Americans See U.S. as Exceptional; 37% Doubt Obama Does


An interesting poll from Gallup; reading it, I was reminded of Marco Rubio’s successful Senate bid in Florida, and how the theme of American exceptionalism seemed to drive a deep emotional connection between the candidate and audiences…

Americans widely agree that the United States has a unique character because of its history and Constitution that sets it apart from other nations as the greatest in the world. This view, commonly referred to as “U.S. exceptionalism,” is shared by at least 73% of Americans in all party groups, including 91% of Republicans.

Gallup’s chart indicates 73 percent of Democrats feel this way, 77 percent of independents.

At the same time that Americans believe the U.S. is exceptional, they also are inclined to believe that status is far from secure, according to the Dec. 10-12 USA Today/Gallup poll. Three-quarters of those who believe the U.S. is exceptional (62% of all Americans) also believe the U.S. is currently at risk of losing its unique character.

On the whole, Americans, by 58% to 37%, believe Obama thinks the U.S. is exceptional, consistent with what he and his advisers maintain. But Americans are less likely to believe Obama holds this view than they are to think the same about Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Fascinatingly, 9 percent of Americans think Ronald Reagan did not think the U.S. is exceptional, suggesting that, at minimum, 9 percent of Americans pay no attention to anything and thus should be ignored.

Americans who identify as Republicans, likely reflecting the opinions of some of their party’s leaders, are especially dubious that Obama regards the U.S. as exceptional. Thirty-four percent of Republicans believe the president thinks the United States is the greatest country in the world, while 61% believe he does not. Democrats are much more confident that Obama regards the United States as exceptional, while the majority of independents agree.

The independent split is interesting: 57 percent of independents think that Obama regards the U.S. as exceptional, but 38 percent don’t think that.

Tags: Marco Rubio , Polling


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