‘Solutions to the world’s problems require international cooperation’

Deployed members of the U.S. Navy watch the presidential debate on the television. Results of a survey revealed that half of the respondents think that the candidates are not talking enough about foreign policy. Photo by: Declan Barnes / U.S. Navy / CC BY

Apart from the economy and jobs, foreign policy is an issue that is likely to influence votes, three of four Americans say in a new survey.

Results of the survey were released a day before a town hall-style meeting where U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are set to answer questions from the public about U.S. foreign policy.

Almost half of the polled voters think the presidential candidates are not talking enough about foreign policy in their campaigns. Given the opportunity, respondents would like to find out more about candidates’ thoughts on ending the war in Afghanistan, the United States’ current relationship with Israel and other issues that may affect national security.

Respondents said they also want candidates to talk about U.S. aid to other countries. Nearly 80 percent further said the United States should work with major allies and international organizations — such as the United Nations — to achieve its foreign policy goals. International cooperation is even the phrase that scored the highest among terms polled voters felt should describe the country’s foreign policy approach in the next five years.

Most notably, 61 percent of respondents said they are likely to vote for a candidate who will say, “Solutions to the world’s problems require international cooperation.”

“As presidential candidates prepare to debate international affairs, it’s clear that U.S. voters see global issues as having a real impact here at home,” Better World Campaign Executive Director Peter Yeo said in a press release, “The data shows Americans want a candidate who champions strong international cooperation and who will work collaboratively with international organizations.”

Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates surveyed 800 registered voters via landlines and cell phones in behalf of the Better World Campaign, a nonpartisan organization that works to strengthen ties between the United States and the United Nations.

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    Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.