The cavernous partisan divide over U.S. global power — in one chart

December 3, 2013

Most Republicans say the United States is a less powerful player on the global stage compared to a decade ago, while most Democrats disagree, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

Seventy-four percent of Republicans say the United States plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader compared to 10 years ago, according to the survey, which was conducted by the Pew Research Center in conjunction with the Council on Foreign Relations. By comparison, just 33 percent of Democrats say the same thing. Independents fall in between at 55 percent.

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The public's opinion may be shaped by the identity of the commander in chief. Under President Obama, it's no surprise that Republicans' views of the United States's position in the world as diminished. During the Iraq war in 2004 led by then-President George W. Bush, the situation was reversed, with Democrats viewing the United States as playing a less important part on the international stage.

While there are also differences on the question of whether the United States is less respected by other countries compared to the past, it's worth noting that majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents all say that it is.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan | December 3, 2013