While some political leaders are now calling on America to focus more on domestic matters—for example, President Obama asserted last month that "it's time to do some nation-building right here at home"—a recent national survey conducted by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) found that an overwhelming majority of Americans (92.2% of respondents) believe it is important for the United States to continue playing a significant role in world affairs. Indeed, more than a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a very strong majority of Americans (85.7%) say that the United States is a "force for good in the world."
The national survey on Foreign Policy Matters in 2012 was conducted by Basswood Research from September 15-17, 2012, on behalf of the Foreign Policy Initiative. The survey's margin of error is 3.1 percent on a sample of 1000 likely voters. Respondents passed a series of screens to indicate that they are very likely to be voting in the November 2012 general election. In terms of party affiliation, 37.9 percent of respondents identified themselves with the Republican Party, 39.9 percent identified with the Democratic Party, and 20.0 percent identified either as Independent or with no party at all.