'Ignorance high' in US over Egypt

Uprising seems not to have troubled the attentions of many, with citizens divided along party lines, poll reveals.

    US President Barack Obama waves to the crowd after speaking at Cairo University, in June 2009 [Getty]

    More than half of United States' citizens have heard 'a little or nothing at all' about the uprising and violence in Egypt, a survey has revealed.

    And those who have been following events seem noncommittal about what their impact is likely to be.

    According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, some 52 per cent of the people interviewed during the past five days knew precious little about the events in Egypt.

    Only 28 per cent of respondents thought they would have a negative effect, while 15 per cent said the calls for political change in Egypt would be good for the US.

    Meanwhile, 58 per cent of the 1,385 people polled said the protests were unlikely to have much of an effect whatsoever on the US. 

    While considering party lines, Republicans and independents were more likely than Democrats to believe the uprising would be bad for the US. Almost four in 10 Republicans, 37 per cent, said the protests would have a negative effect on their country, while just eight per cent of Republican voters think their result will be positive.

    Some 28 per cent of independents said the protests would end up having a negative impact on the US - twice the 14 per cent who believe the outcome will be positive for the US.

    Democrats are equally split between positive and negative predictions, at 21 per cent each.

    A large majority of Democrats - 69 per cent - and 57 per cent of all respondents - say President Barack Obama's administration has handled the situation well. In comparison, just 43 per cent of Republicans agree with Obama's manner of dealing with the crisis.

    While 12 per cent of those polled believe Obama is not showing enough support to the protesters calling for democracy in Egypt - an equivalent 12 per cent think he's giving them too much encouragement.

    Further results from the national survey by the Pew Research Center For The People And The Press will be released at a later date, the Washington-based think tank revealed.

    SOURCE: Pew Research Center, Al Jazeera


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