Public Opinion

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Politics & National Security

Confidence in Government on National Security Matters: What Have We Learned So Far?

Last year, we began a polling project intended to serve as a running gauge of the public’s confidence in a variety of institutions on national security matters. We had observed that traditional public polling had only asked about national security when it appeared as a topic in the public discourse, and thus was of higher salience. But this was biasing. People are more worried about terrorism right after a major attack, for example. What about in times when national security topics are not in the news? How elastic is people’s confidence in institutions on national security matters?

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