A little over one month ago, the pollster Frank Luntz released survey data suggesting that members of Congress could profit from making the United Nations into a “wedge issue” in the coming election. At the time, some pollsters questioned his conclusions, calling the work more of a PR driven poll designed to highlight negative sentiment than an objective research exercise.The Better World Campaign, a sister organization of the United Nations Foundation, released a poll today further undercutting Luntz’s finding.
The poll, by Bill McInturff’s firm, Public Opinion Strategies, shows that a majority of Americans have a favorable image of the United Nations and that Americans still strongly believe the United States needs to continue to belong to the UN — a belief that is supported across party lines. The poll also finds that a whopping 78% of registered voters believe “it is in America’s best interest to actively support the United Nations.”
These findings do not come as a surprise. Americans routinely express support for the United Nation and reject isolationist attitudes akin to those stoked by Luntz’s push poll. Consider this recent poll, by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, which we highlighted on UN Dispatch last week. The poll finds, “Americans show a strong preference for Congressional candidates who would seek to increase multilateral cooperation. Seventy-two percent say they would prefer candidates who believe that ‘the U.S. should do its share in efforts to solve international problems together with other countries.’ Much less popular are candidates who want the United States to ‘continue to be the preeminent world leader’ (9% support) or to ‘withdraw from most efforts to solve international problems.'”
The myth that American voters are intrinsically hostile to the UN is simply false.