Americans Divided on U.S. Involvement in Egypt

    New York, N.Y. – February 7, 2011 – As the political unrest in Egypt continues, there is a question of how involved the United States should be in helping to solve the problems. Should the U.S. sit on the sidelines or is it more appropriate for U.S. diplomats to be front and center on this issue? Americans are clearly divided on how involved the United States should be. Just over two in five U.S. adults (43%) believe the U.S. should be involved, with 12% saying very involved and 31% saying somewhat involved. Almost the same number (42%) believe the United States should not be involved with 21% each saying not very involved and not at all involved, while 15% of Americans are not at all sure how involved the U.S. should be.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,060 adults surveyed online between February 2 and 4, 2011 by Harris Interactive®.

    Ideas on involvement vary by age

    When it comes to how involved the U.S. should be in the political unrest in Egypt right now, there are some differences that emerge by age. Almost half (48%) of those 55 and older as well as 45% of those 18-34 believe that the United States should be involved. Those 35-44 and 45-54 are of a different mind. Almost half (47%) of both of these age groups say the United States should not be involved in Egypt. In fact, over one-quarter of those 45-54 (26%) say the U.S. should not be involved at all.

    Partisan agreement

    There are not many things Democrats and Republicans agree on right now, but involvement in Egypt’s current political unrest is one of them. Almost half of Democrats (48%) and Republicans (48%) say the U.S. should be involved while 40% of Republicans and 37% of Democrats say the U.S. should not be involved. Independents, however, think differently. Almost half of them (47%) say the United States should not be involved in the current unrest while two in five Independents (40%) believe the U.S. should be involved.

    So what?

    The political unrest in Egypt is not likely to disappear any time in the near future. Things may calm, but the tension will still be simmering. And, even when President Mubarak is no longer in power, there is no guarantee that the unrest will be over. Americans are all watching events unfold but, at the moment, seem to be unclear as to the level of involvement the United States should have. As things evolve there, likely so will attitudes in the U.S.


     

    TABLE 1

    U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN EGYPT

    There has been some political unrest in Egypt recently. Do you think the U.S. should be…?

    Base: All adults

    Total

    Political Party

    Age

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    18-34

    35-44

    45-54

    55+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    INVOLVED (NET)

    43

    48

    48

    40

    45

    36

    39

    48

    Very involved

    12

    17

    13

    8

    13

    7

    11

    13

    Somewhat involved

    31

    31

    35

    31

    32

    30

    28

    34

    NOT INVOLVED (NET)

    42

    40

    37

    47

    38

    47

    47

    39

    Not very involved

    21

    19

    21

    25

    20

    23

    21

    20

    Not at all involved

    21

    21

    17

    22

    18

    24

    26

    22

    Not at all sure

    15

    13

    15

    14

    17

    17

    14

    9

     

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States February 2 and 4, 2010 among 2,060 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

     

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

     

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

     

     

    The Harris Poll ® #16, February 7, 2011

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

    About Harris Interactive

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