Obama in the Polls
Re “Obama’s Weakness, or Ours?,” by Nicholas Kristof (column, June 26):
Fair assessment of foreign policy requires knowledge of the politics, history and geography of the relevant foreign lands. Do Americans have that?
In a poll conducted in March, just 16 percent of Americans correctly located Ukraine on the map. The further their answer was from Ukraine’s true location, the more likely they were to support military intervention.
In a comparison with the British and the Scandinavians, Americans ranked last in a 2009 survey of familiarity with current world events.
Pollsters should routinely ask respondents about basic facts, in addition to asking about opinions. If the best informed disapprove of the president, he should rethink his policies. If the worst informed do, he should rethink his message.