U.S. Attitudes Toward Egypt (2012)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:


JZ Analytics was commissioned by New York University (Abu Dhabi) to conduct an online survey of American attitudes toward Egypt. Conducted in January 2012, the poll shows:

• Americans hold a net negative view of Egypt

• Americans are wary of the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in government

• Americans are sharply divided along partisan lines when it comes to future U.S.-Egyptian
relations

• 60% of Americans say they need to know more about Egypt; 55% say their knowledge about
Egypt comes from the media

The continued turmoil in Egypt, the behavior of the military authority (SCAF), and questions about the Muslim Brotherhood's new leadership role have dramatically altered U.S. perceptions of Egypt. Now only 33% of Americans have a favorable attitude toward Egypt, with 34% holding a negative view (and 33% saying they are "not sure").

In the past, Egypt always fared quite well in U.S. opinion. Since the 1990's Egypt's favorable ratings have been between 55% to 65%, while the country's unfavorable ratings were around 20%. In the last year of President Mubarak's rule, positive U.S. opinions toward Egypt declined, slipping into the high 40% range. But with positive U.S. media coverage of the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, favorable ratings shot up, increasing 20 points.

One year later, some Americans are uneasy with political developments in Egypt. When asked specifically how they felt about the Muslim Brotherhood winning control of the parliament, only 4% said this was a "positive development for Egypt". Just 19% agreed "this was the outcome of a democratic election and we must accept the results," while 26% said that this represented a "setback for Egypt" (a view held by 42% of Republicans). A substantial 39% were "not sure."

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