POLITICS
08/18/2015 07:06 pm ET

Americans No Longer Expect Foreign Policy To Be Center Stage In 2016

We're a little less worried about terrorism and a little more upset about the economy.

Americans don't think foreign policy will take center stage in the 2016 election, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

Despite the ongoing discussion over the nuclear deal with Iran and an inaugural GOP presidential debate that featured more questions about foreign policy than any other topic, 43 percent of Americans say they expect domestic issues to be more important in the upcoming election. Only 33 percent think global issues will receive greater focus.

That's a significant shift from earlier this year. In February, with economic optimism on the rise but concerns about terrorism growing, Americans predicted by a 7-point margin that international issues would play a larger role during the 2016 election.

Views of the economy have soured mildly since then. Fewer Americans now see it as improving, although the percentage saying things have grown worse has changed little since February. At the same time, fewer people now see terrorism as an increasing threat.

Huffington Post

The change is especially pronounced within the GOP.  In the earlier survey, Republicans were 39 points more likely to say terrorism was increasing than to say the economy was getting worse -- a gap that has since decreased to 19 points. In February, 56 percent of Republicans saw foreign policy as the larger issue. Today, just a third do.

Regardless of party, registered voters overwhelmingly cite the economy as one of their top two issues for 2016. After that, opinions diverge, with Democrats also focusing on health care and social issues, Republicans naming foreign policy and immigration, and independents' concerns more widely spread out.

Huffington Post

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Aug. 15-17 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls' methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov's reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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