Six in 10 Americans say they have little to no confidence in President Donald Trump’s ability to guide the nation during times of international crisis, according to a recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll.
For most Americans, “Trump does not pass the test of commander-in-chief,” said Lee Miringoff, who directs the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
Few respondents in the poll conducted last week said they had a great amount of confidence in Trump’s leadership on the world stage, unless they belonged to the GOP. Nearly half of Republicans — 48 percent — said they had faith in the president’s global leadership, compared with 3 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of those who identified as politically independent.
Most U.S. adults saw diplomacy as the solution for dealing with North Korea, which is working to develop a nuclear missile that could reach American soil.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans prefer some form of diplomacy over warfare to diffuse tensions between the United States and North Korea.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Tuesday that North Korea had in recent days “demonstrated some level of restraint that we have not seen in the past,” opening a door for possible dialogue. It was a stark contrast to hostile exchanges between Trump and North Korea earlier this month.
Four out of 10 Americans — 40 percent — said they think the United States should continue to pursue negotiations with North Korea. More than half of Democrats, 40 percent of independent voters and nearly a quarter of Republicans said they supported direct negotiations.
Another 33 percent of Americans said the United States should persuade China to intercede and put a stop to nuclear programs.
Just 16 percent of U.S. adults said they preferred more aggressive action. When asked, 9 percent of respondents said the U.S. should deploy air strikes to destroy North Korean nuclear facilities, while an additional 4 percent said U.S. troops should march into North Korea and overthrow the dictatorship of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Only 3 percent of Americans said the United States should be the first to launch a nuclear attack against North Korea. Support was anemic at best even along political party lines: 5 percent of Republicans said they supported Trump striking first, along with 2 percent of Democrats and 1 percent of people who identified as politically independent.
One out of 10 Americans — 11 percent — aren’t sure how the nation should proceed in handling North Korea.
The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll contacted 1,125 U.S. adults using landline and mobile phones between August 14 and August 15. There is a 2.9 percent margin of error.