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American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy: National Leaders, 1979 (ICPSR 7786)

Principal Investigator(s): Chicago Council on Foreign Relations


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).

Series: American Public Opinion and United States Foreign Policy Series

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Study Description


Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy: National Leaders, 1979. ICPSR07786-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-08-02. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07786.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07786.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • Chicago Council on Foreign Relations

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    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

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1979

Date of Collection:   

  • 1978-11-20--1979-01-12

Universe:    Leaders in American national politics, government, business, education, the media, national unions, and other organizations with national influence.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Producer: Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ.


Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-06-20

Version History:

  • 2007-08-02 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added to this data collection.

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