For immediate release
April 29, 1999


However, President May Not Be Explaining Situation Well Enough

WASHINGTON, DC - Survey results released today by National Public Radio®, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government show substantial support for current U.S. and NATO military action in Yugoslavia. But they show 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." In addition, 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 a reason for U.S. action in Yugoslavia, 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 main 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."

A report on the survey was broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered® on Thursday afternoon. Tapes and transcripts are available upon request. The complete results of the NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Poll are available at NPR Online.

The survey is part of a broader project of NPR, 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.

National Public Radio, a membership organization of 608 public radio stations across America, is radio's leading provider of high-quality news, information and cultural programming. NPR is the producer and distributor of award-winning programs such as Morning Edition®, Talk of the Nation®, Performance Today® and CarTalk.