Most Americans Fear Fallout From Egypt Crisis But Want America To Stay Out
Monday, January 31, 2011
Most Americans expect the unrest in Egypt to spread to other Middle Eastern
countries and think that will be bad for the United States. But a sizable
majority also believe the United States should keep its nose out of Egypt’s
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of American
Adults think it is at least somewhat likely that the unrest in Egypt will
spread to other Middle Eastern countries, with 37% who say it is Very
Likely. Only 11% say that’s not very or not at all likely to happen.
Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click
Fifty-nine percent (59%) say if the unrest in Egypt spreads to other
countries, it will be bad for the United States. Just eight percent (8%)
think the spreading popular discontent will be good for America, while 11%
predict it will have no impact. However, nearly one-in-four Americans (23%)
There’s an even higher level of uncertainty – 31% - when Americans are asked
what impact the overthrow of the Egyptian government will have on the United
States. Five percent (5%) think the impact will be a good one, but 38% say
it will be bad for America. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it will have no
Still, only seven percent (7%) of Americans think the United States should
help the current Egyptian government stay in power. Seventy percent (70%)
think America should leave the situation alone. Twenty-three percent (23%)
aren’t sure what we should do.
This sentiment is shared strongly across all demographic categories.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on January 28-29, 2011 by Rasmussen
Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95%
level -of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is
conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Generally speaking, 40% of adults regard Egypt as an ally of the United
States. Just three percent (3%) see the Middle Eastern country as an enemy.
Forty-six percent (46%) place it somewhere in between an ally and an enemy.
This is consistent with previous surveys in which Americans have viewed
Egypt with a little more confidence than they’ve held for other Middle
Eastern countries including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
In early September, 44% of Americans said the United States should provide
military help to Egypt if it is attacked. Thirty-five percent (35%) were
against such aid, and 21% weren’t sure about it.
Despite the non-stop coverage, only 28% are following stories of the unrest
in Egypt Very Closely. Another 37% are following it Somewhat Closely. This
is comparable to interest last year in Greece’s financial problems but well
below the interest in last January’s earthquake in Haiti.
Both Republicans and Democrats feel more strongly than adults who are not
affiliated with either party that Egypt is a U.S. ally. Republicans worry
more about the impact on the United States and are slightly more inclined to
think we should help the current Egyptian government stay in power.
American officials are watching closely to see if radical Islamicists come
to power in Egypt. U.S. voters show little confidence in how America is
fighting the War on Terror these days.
Three-out-of-four U.S. voters (73%) fear a terrorist threat more than a