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Orlando, the Middle East, and the U.S. election

Past Event

Orlando, the Middle East, and the U.S. election

Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shibley Telhami, and William A. Galston

With the violence in the Middle East continuing, and further attacks on American soil in the name of Islam, the election campaigns have paid significant attention to policy issues related to the Middle East. But as both Republicans and Democrats prepare for their national conventions, how do Americans prioritize Middle East issues compared with other global priorities? Have public attitudes shifted in light of recent ISIS-inspired attacks overseas and at home and in response to heated campaign rhetoric? If so, in what direction?

On July 11, Brookings launched two new public opinion surveys focusing on American attitudes towards the Middle East, conducted by Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami: One was conducted just two weeks before the Orlando shooting, the other taken two weeks after—thus providing an opportunity to evaluate any shift in public attitudes. In addition, some of the same questions were asked in Telhami’s polls the previous two years, thus providing a further opportunity to evaluate trends. One of the polls also includes a significant oversample of millennials (18-34) for further demographic analysis.

Telhami was joined in discussion by William Galston, the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies at Brookings. Tamara Cofman Wittes, senior fellow and director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.


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