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American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy: National Leaders, 1979

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • American Public Opinion and United States Foreign Policy Series
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
Free Keywords
arms race; Cold War; communist threat; diplomacy; domestic policy; foreign affairs; foreign aid; foreign policy; international relations; leadership; military intervention; national elites; national interests; national security; policy making; political attitudes; political influence; political participation; public approval; public opinion
  • Abstract

    These data were gathered in personal interviews with respondents who represented Americans in senior positions with knowledge of and influence upon international affairs and foreign policy by the Gallup Organization, Inc., between November 20, 1978, and January 12, 1979. These individuals were chosen from the areas of national politics, governmental offices, business, education, the media, national unions, and other organizations with national influence. Respondents were asked to list the biggest problems facing the country, in general, as well as the biggest foreign policy problems. Other questions explored the relationship between domestic and foreign policy priorities, e.g., aid to education, defense spending, farm subsidies, and domestic welfare/relief programs. Respondents' opinions were sought about the roles of various individuals and institutions in the creation of foreign policy, and the appropriate responses of the United States to actions by the former Soviet Union and other countries. They also guaged the threat of communism to the United States in several countries. Other questions covered foreign economic aid, military aid/selling military equipment to other nations, the role of the United States in world affairs, and the use of United States troops in other parts of the world. Respondents were asked to rate the performance of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, and opinions were sought about the type of role that various individuals and institutions (e.g., the president, the CIA, the military, the United Nations, and the Congress) should play in the creation of foreign policy. Respondents' political participation and orientation was also measured. In a similar survey conducted in November 1978, many of the same questions were asked of a sample of the general public in the United States. The results of that survey are collected in AMERICAN PUBLIC OPINION AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: GENERAL PUBLIC, 1979 (ICPSR 7748).
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1979
  • 1978-11-20 / 1979-01-12
    Collection date: 1978-11-20--1979-01-12
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Leaders in American national politics, government, business, education, the media, national unions, and other organizations with national influence.
Collection Mode
  • Producer: Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ.

2007-08-02 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added to this data collection. Funding insitution(s): Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7786 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07786.v1
  • Cunningham, Jennifer, Moore, Michael K.. Elite and Mass Foreign Policy Opinions: Who Is Leading This Parade?. Social Science Quarterly.78, (3), 641-656.1997.
  • Fite, David, Genest, Marc, Wilcox, Clyde. Gender Differences in Foreign Policy Attitudes: A Longitudinal Analysis. American Politics Quarterly.18, (4), 492-513.1990.
    • ID: 10.1177/1532673X9001800406 (DOI)
  • Wittkopf, Eugene R.. Elites and Masses: Another Look at Attitudes toward America's World Role. International Studies Quarterly.31, (2), 131-159.1987.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Herrmann, Richard. The Power of Perceptions in Foreign-Policy Decision Making: Do Views of the Soviet Union Determine the Policy Choices of American Leaders?. American Journal of Political Science.30, (4), 841-875.1986.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Wittkopf, Eugene R.. On the Foreign Policy Beliefs of the American People: A Critique and Some Evidence. International Studies Quarterly.30, (4), 425-445.1986.
    • ID: (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (1984): American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy: National Leaders, 1979. Archival Version. American Public Opinion and United States Foreign Policy Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.