Pew Survey Reveals Huge Partisan Gap in National Security Attitudes among Americans
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Pew Research Center for People and the Press
A new survey of the core values of the American public has found that beliefs about national
security are now twice as important as economic, social or religious values in shaping people's
partisan identification. Five year ago, these national security attitudes barely registered as a
correlate of partisanship.
Pew polling found that differing views about the war in Iraq and about the best way to combat
terrorism in the post-September 11 era are principally responsible for creating a huge 44 percentage
point partisan gap in national security attitudes. Republicans are now more hawkish and Democrats
more dovish than at any time in the past two decades.
The survey also found that partisan gaps in basic attitudes toward government - a key point of
difference between Democrats and Republicans for generations - have narrowed, a change driven
largely by a growing pro-government sentiment among traditionally anti-government Republicans.
The findings from a survey of 2,000 Americans are presented in "Trends 2005," a reference book
published today by the Pew Research Center. The book also examines current developments and
long-term trends in politics, religion and public life; the media; the growing Hispanic population;
state policy; and national and global public opinion.
It is the first publication of the Pew Research Center, an independent, non-partisan, Washington,
DC-based "fact tank" that houses six previously separate information projects, including the Pew
Research Center for the People & the Press.
For information about the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and its latest surveys,
continue to use our website at http://www.people-press.org .
For information about the Pew Research Center, including the book Trends 2005, visit