NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Kosovo Survey


A new survey by National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government shows substantial support for current U.S. and NATO actions in Kosovo. But it shows substantially weaker support - less than a majority - for "sending in ground troops to fight in Kosovo" if "U.S. and NATO goals are not reached through the bombing campaign." More than two-thirds do not believe American leaders are being too cautious about ground troops.

The NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Poll also shows that a majority of Americans believes that "the U.S. has a moral obligation to try to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo," and a majority also believes that "the U.S. has a national interest in trying to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo." Of those who selected either reason for U.S. action in Kosovo, nearly twice as many pointed to moral obligation than pointed to national interest as their top reason. Of those who chose national interest, nearly half said their top reason for believing so was that "it could prevent the outbreak of a larger war."

Only half the Americans polled "think President Clinton has explained the situation well enough." The survey is part of a broader project of National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard's Kennedy School that is examining how Americans feel about major issues facing the country today.

The survey was a telephone poll of 1,022 Americans over the age of 18, conducted from April 23 to April 28, 1999. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.

Questions 1 and 2 were general questions about uses of the budget surplus, so that changes could be compared to an earlier survey. Those questions may be found at the end of this document. The Kosovo questions begin with No. 3.




Q-3: Do you support or oppose U.S. and NATO military involvement in the situation in Kosovo?
(If support or oppose) Do you support/oppose that strongly or somewhat?

         

Support

Oppose

Donít know

Refused

         

NET

Strongly

Somewhat

NET

Somewhat

Strongly

                   

4/28/99

61

29

32

28

13

15

10

1

         


Q-4: Do you think the U.S. has a moral obligation to try to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo, or don't you feel that way?

 58         Yes, the U.S. has a moral obligation

 35         No, I donít feel that way

  7         Donít Know

  *         Refused


Q-5: Do you think the U.S. has a national interest in trying to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo, or don't you feel that way?

 55         Yes, the U.S. has a national interest

 38         No, I donít feel that way

  7         Donít Know

  1         Refused


Q-6: (Of those who said both moral obligation and national interest) Which of these two reasons is more important to you: America's moral obligation in Kosovo, or its national interest in Kosovo?

 68         Americaís moral obligation in Kosovo

 26         Its national interest in Kosovo

  4         Both/canít choose

  2         Donít Know

  *         Refused


Q 4/5/6 Summary

 45         Americaís moral obligation in Kosovo

 26         Its national interest in Kosovo

  1         Both/canít choose

 23         Neither

  4         Donít Know

  *         Refused

(ASKED OF THOSE WHO SAID THE U.S. HAS A NATIONAL INTEREST in Q5)


Q-7: (Of those who said the U.S. has a national interest in trying to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo) I'm going to read you a list of five reasons some people have given for why trying to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo is in our country's national interest. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a very important, somewhat important, or not very important reason why trying to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo is in our national interest.

         

Very Important

Somewhat Important

Not Very Important

Donít Know

Refused

a. It could prevent the outbreak of a larger war

69

20

10

1

*

b. The credibility of NATO is on the line

37

41

19

3

*

c. The U.S. has important economic interests in keeping Europe stable

41

46

12

2

*

d. Having refugees driven out of Kosovo will cause serious problems for other European countries

55

34

9

2

*

e. America needs to protect the world against such events

48

38

13

1

*

Q-7a: (Of those who named more than one "very important reason")You mentioned (READ ITEMS RESPONDENT NAMED AS "VERY IMPORTANT") as very important reasons for why trying to help stop Serbian actions in Kosovo is in our country's national interest. Which ONE of these would you say is the MOST IMPORTANT reason?

 46         It could prevent the outbreak of a larger war

  6         The credibility of NATO is on the line

 12         The U.S. has important economic interests in keeping Europe stable

 12         Having refugees driven out of Kosovo will cause serious problems for other European countries

 21         America needs to protect the world against such events

  2         Donít Know

 -         Refused

7/7a Combined summary table:

 20         It could prevent the outbreak of a larger war

  4         The credibility of NATO is on the line

  6         The U.S. has important economic interests in keeping Europe stable

  7         Having refugees driven out of Kosovo will cause serious problems for other European countries

 12         America needs to protect the world against such events

  1         Donít Know

 50         No very important reason


Q-8: Suppose U.S. and NATO goals are not reached through the bombing campaign, would you favor or oppose the United States and its NATO allies sending in ground troops to fight in Kosovo?

 42         Favor

 50         Oppose 

  7         Donít know         

  1         Refused 


Q-9: (Of those who favor ground troops if goals are not reached through bombing campaign) Do you favor or oppose using U.S. and NATO ground troops to fight in Kosovo now?

 62         Favor

 33         Oppose 

  5         Donít know         

  *         Refused 


Q-10: Would you favor or oppose sending in ground troops if there was a good chance that some U.S. soldiers were killed in the fighting?

 29         Favor

 61         Oppose 

  8         Donít know         

  1         Refused 


Q-11: Would you still favor sending in ground troops if 100 American soldiers were killed?

 24         Yes

 65         No          

  9         Donít know         

  2         Refused 


Q-12: Would you still favor sending in ground troops if 500 American soldiers were killed?

 20         Yes

 69         No          

 10         Donít know         

  2         Refused 

         


Q-13: Would you still favor sending in ground troops if 1000 or more American soldiers were killed?

 15         Yes

 72         No          

 11         Donít know         

  2         Refused 


Q-14: Do you think the President, Congress, and other American leaders are being too cautious about sending U.S. ground troops to Kosovo or not?

 26         Yes

 68         No          

  6         Donít know         

  1         Refused 


Q-15: Do you think President Clinton has explained the situation well enough so that you feel you understand why the United States and its NATO allies are taking their current actions in Kosovo and Serbia, or hasn't he?

 50         Yes

 44         No          

  6         Donít know         

  1         Refused 


Q-16: The U.S. says that it has become involved with NATO in Kosovo to try to prevent large-scale killing of civilians and ethnic cleansing. Do you favor or oppose the U.S. being involved militarily in other such situations around the world in the future?

 53         Favor

 36         Oppose 

 11         Donít know         

  1         Refused 


Q-1: As you may know, the federal government has a budget SURPLUS this year, and choices will have to be made about what to do with this money. I'm going to read you a list of some ways the budget could be used. As I read each one, please tell me if you think it should be one of the TOP priorities, important but not a TOP priority, not too important, or should not be done. (First,) what about...(READ EACH ITEM)? Should this be one of the TOP priorities for using the budget surplus, important but not a TOP priority, not too important, OR should this not be done?

         

Priority

Not Important

Donít know

Refused

         

NET

One of top

Impt/Not top

NET

Not too impt.

Should not be done

                   

a. Cutting taxes

89

44

35

19

13

6

2

*

b. Paying off the national debt more quickly

73

32

41

25

19

6

2

*

c. Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

86

53

33

14

8

6

*

1

d. Increasing defense spending

62

20

41

36

24

12

2

*

e. Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

94

72

22

5

4

2

1

*

f. Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

91

62

30

8

5

2

1

*

         


Q-2: (Of those who named more than one top priority) You mentioned (READ ITEMS RESPONDENT NAMED AS A TOP PRIORITY) as a top priority among ways to use the budget surplus. Which ONE of these would you say is the MOST IMPORTANT priority?

          9         Cutting taxes

          8         Paying off the national debt more quickly

         28         Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

          6         Increasing defense spending

         33         Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

         14         Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

          2         Donít know

          *         Refused

1/ 2 Combined: TOP Priority

         10         Cutting taxes

          8         Paying off the national debt more quickly

         27         Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

          7         Increasing defense spending

         31         Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

         13         Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

          5         None

          2         Donít know

          *          Refused

         

Compare to 3/24/99:

         

Priority

Not Important

Donít know

         

NET

One of top

Important/Not top

NET

Not too impt.

Should not be done

         

a. Cutting taxes

76

43

34

23

14

9

1

b. Paying off the national debt more quickly

79

38

41

21

17

4

1

c. Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

82

50

32

17

11

6

*

d. Increasing defense spending

58

16

41

41

26

15

1

e. Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

94

73

21

6

3

2

*

f. Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

90

57

33

10

7

3

*

(Of those who named more than one top priority)

         11         Cutting taxes

          8         Paying off the national debt more quickly

         24         Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

          4         Increasing defense spending

         41         Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

         12         Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

          1         Donít know

Combined: TOP Priority

         12         Cutting taxes

          9         Paying off the national debt more quickly

         23         Increasing spending on domestic programs, such as health, education, and the environment

          3         Increasing defense spending

         37         Helping make the Social Security program financially sound

         10         Helping make the Medicare program financially sound

          6         None

         


Now I'm going to ask you some questions about the conflict in Serbia and Kosovo.


Copyright © 1999 National Public Radio