Republican voters are far less likely than Democrats to support international arms treaties, U.S. intervention in foreign disputes and other examples of global activism, according to a poll commissioned by the Democratic Leadership Council.
The nationwide poll of 511 registered voters was conducted on Sept. 28-29 by Mark Penn, who also polls for President Clinton. The DLC, a centrist political organization, supports a robust U.S. role in international affairs.
The poll found that 65 percent of Democrats agreed that "the U.S. sometimes needs to get involved in regional conflicts that do not directly threaten U.S. interest," such as Kosovo, while 59 percent of independents and 44 percent of Republicans agreed with that statement.
No group, however, strongly felt that the United States should become significantly more engaged in world affairs. When asked if the nation is "too engaged in the world's problems, not engaged enough or engaged just about the right amount," 48 percent said "too engaged." That included 57 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats. Only 16 percent of respondents said there is not enough engagement.
The poll found that, in general, young adults and people who regularly use the Internet are more likely to support an active U.S. role in international matters.
In summary, the poll said "in the 10 years since the Cold War ended, a sharp partisan divide has emerged among Americans between internationalism and disengagement." DLC President Al From told reporters that many Republicans "continue to be very isolationist."