Poll: Americans Increasingly Want to Fix U.S. First

New Pew survey tracks waning interest in assisting other countries

A military truck painted with the words "Make America Great Again" and "Trump 2016" drives along with Rolling Thunder bikers as they pass over Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial during the annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder ride in Washington on May 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A majority of Americans want their government to focus on solving domestic problems rather than wading into foreign affairs, a new poll suggests.  

In the Pew Research Center’s Spring 2016 Global Attitudes Survey , 57 percent of Americans interviewed expressed a desire to have U.S. leaders look inward and “let other countries deal with their own problems.” This marks a nearly 11 percentage point increase in pro-isolationist sentiment over the last six years, Pew reported.  

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has framed his presidential campaign around making “America Great Again,” a platform that’s grown to include walling off the southern U.S. border, rethinking NATO, banning  foreign Muslims from entering the country, and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.  

[ Dems Look to Flip Script on Terror After Trump Response ]  

The survey also found that 46 percent of Americans perceive the U.S. to be less influential than it was a decade ago.  

Pew also surveyed Europeans and found similar sentiments there. Only residents of Spain (50 percent), Italy (52 percent) and economically depressed Greece (65 percent) were more pessimistic than Americans about their lack of sway on the global stage, whereas about a third of those living in Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland remained confident about their countries' political prominence.

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Opinions about concentrating on internal challenges reflected a familiar ideological split: 62 percent of conservatives advocated for less involvement elsewhere while 47 percent of self-described liberals agreed that we should keep to ourselves.  

The findings are based on interviews with 11,494 respondents in 10 European nations and the U.S. conducted between April 4 and May 12.

Contact Rojas at  warrenrojas@rollcall.com   and follow him on Twitter  @WARojas .

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