Pew: 28% think US is #1
President Obama may want to see America "second to none" in military power and economic prowess, but fewer than 1/3 of the people see America as the #1 country in the world today according to a new Pew poll.
The view of Americans across the board that the United States is No. 1 in the world has dropped in just the last three years, with Democrats and younger Americans especially believing that the nation, while among the greatest, does not stand above the rest, according to a new survey.
A new Pew Research Center report timed for Independence Day found that just 28 percent believe that the U.S. “stands above all other countries in the world,” 58 percent say it is “one of the greatest countries in the world, along with some others,” and 12 percent said that there are other countries “that are better.”
The numbers reveal a big drop in just three years. Pew said that in 2011, 38 percent said the U.S. was No. 1.
The biggest drop in how America is viewed by its own citizens came among Republicans. Some 52 percent said America stood above the others in 2011. That has dropped to 37 percent.
But Democrats are lower on the scale. “Democrats and independents continue to be less likely than Republicans to view the U.S. as exceptional, and fewer say this today than did so in 2011,” said Pew, which pulled the numbers from its online political typology survey and quiz.
The numbers: In 2011, 33 percent of Democrats said America “stands above” others. Today just 25 percent believe that.
And Americans ages 18-29 are at the bottom of those who view the nation as standing alone in greatness. Said Pew, “Just 15 percent of those under 30 express that view today, down from 27 percent three years ago.”
Actually, this isn't surprising when you look at social metrics like income, personal wealth, health care, and "happiness." We've fallen a few pegs as the Obama economy and Obamacare have done their work.
But if you ask most people in the rest of the world, if they could go to one place to make their lives and their children's lives better, it would still be America. Upward mobility has gotten worse in the last decade, but it is still significantly above almost every other country. We are still - rightly or wrongly -- seen as a land of opportunity.
Native born Americans take that aspect of the country for granted. But it is still a powerful reminder of America's exceptionalism and why despite all, we can regain much of what we have lost.