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41% Give Obama Good Marks On Response to Crisis in Egypt

Wednesday, February 02, 2011--Voters give mixed marks to President Obama's response to the crisis in Egypt, and many think United Nations involvement would make things worse.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the way the Obama administration has responded to the situation in Egypt as good or excellent. Twenty-two percent (22%) view the administration's response so far as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But only 18% of voters say things would be better if the UN stepped in to help resolve the political crisis in Egypt. A plurality (46%) say UN involvement would make the situation worse, while 13% think it would have no impact. One-in-four voters (24%) aren't sure.

Most Americans expect the unrest in Egypt to spread to other Middle Eastern countries and think that will be bad for the United States. But a sizable majority also believe the United States should stay out of Egypt's current problems.

The U.S. government seemed initially reluctant to get involved after large-scale and growing street protests began in Egypt last week. But over the weekend, an emissary from President Obama reportedly urged long-time Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak not to run for reelection this fall and to allow free and open elections instead. Mubarak has since announced he will not seek reelection.

Sixty percent (60%) of Americans think it is more important for the United States to be allies with any country that best protects our own national security than it is to be allies only with countries that have freely elected governments. Just 20% say it is more important for America to only be allies with countries with democratically elected leaders.

The Egyptian situation puts the White House in an awkward position since the country now is America's - and Israel's - strongest Muslim ally in the Middle East.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters now say they are following recent news reports about the political unrest in Egypt at least somewhat closely, with 48% who are following Very Closely.

Male voters are more critical of the administration's response than female voters are.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Democrats give the administration good or excellent marks for its handling of the crisis in Egypt to date, a view shared by just 17% of Republicans and 29% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.

But most GOP voters (54%) think the situation in Egypt would only get worse if the UN was involved. Pluralities of unaffiliated voters (46%) and Democrats (38%) agree.

In early January, before the Egyptian crisis erupted, 43% of voters gave the president good or excellent marks for his handling of national security, while 30% viewed his performance in this area as poor. Since January of last year, the number of voters who give the president positive marks on national security issues has ranged from 38% to 46%. His poor rating has ranged from 31% to 42%.

Voters have consistently for months trusted Republicans more than Democrats in the area of national security.

U.S. voters have long been skeptical of the UN. As recently as last May, 16% said the international organization is an enemy of the United States, and just 30% viewed it as an ally. Seventy-one percent (71%) said America is a more positive force for good in the world today than the UN is.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site's content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.

Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen , president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 31-February 1, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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