Newsroom / Press Release

Ahead of Election Year, Poll Finds Voters Support Foreign Policy Approach that Prioritizes Diplomacy


Washington, D.C. (Oct. 22, 2015) — As Americans look ahead to an election year, a new poll conducted by a bipartisan research team and released today by the Better World Campaign finds that registered voters favor a foreign policy approach that embraces a partnership model. More than 8 in 10 — 82 percent ­— of Americans agree that to achieve our foreign policy goals, it is better for the United States to “work with major allies and through international organizations.” By contrast, only 15 percent said the U.S. should “act mainly on our own.”

The poll also shows that a strong majority of Americans, 63 percent, maintain a favorable impression of the United Nations. The UN’s favorability is higher than NATO at 57 percent, President Obama at 49 percent, the World Bank at 24 percent, and the U.S. Congress at 23 percent.  In fact, 89 percent of Americans said it is “important for the United States to maintain an active role within the United Nations” and a strong majority of Americans, 67 percent, continue to support the United States paying our dues to the UN on time and in full. When asked specifically about our UN peacekeeping dues, support is at 73 percent.

“As Americans begin to consider the candidates for 2016, they have already made a clear decision about how the right leader will approach the world,” said Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign. “Americans will not agree on all policy approaches, yet there remains a strong consensus that diplomacy works, and the UN is key to achieving our foreign policy goals.”

The nationwide poll of 800 likely voters (520 landline/280 cell) was conducted October 11-14 by the bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates with a margin of error of ± 3.46 percent.

Other notable findings show that voters are supportive of the UN’s new global goals for sustainable development. Respondents were told that, working through the United Nations, American and world leaders have established a set of seventeen global goals to end extreme poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development plan. These goals set specific targets for all countries to achieve over the next 15 years by the year 2030, regardless of their current level of development. Twenty-two percent of respondents reported awareness of the global goals, while favorable impressions scored 69 percent, and 83 percent agreed the United States should participate in a worldwide effort to accomplish the global goals by 2030.

Click here for an executive summary. Click here for the full results.

About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign (BWC), an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit

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