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American Citizens Give US Global Role Mixed Reviews

FILE - Boy Scouts stand on stage with a U.S. flag during the Pledge of Allegiance at the outset of a politics summit in Manchester, New Hampshire, April 12, 2014.

Research released Friday shows Americans have mixed views on the status of their country on the global stage.

Surveys taken throughout April by the Pew Research Center found nearly three-fourths of Americans believe the United States is the greatest military power in the world, while more than half say it is the top economic power.

Fifty-four percent of the population believes the U.S. economy is the world’s strongest, the first time since 2008 that more than half of the population gave the economy top reviews.

Americans have long considered the U.S. military the world’s most formidable, and they continue to hold that belief, with 72 percent giving it a favorable rating in the latest Pew report.

Despite the favorable views on the military and the economy, the report found that America’s reputation on the world stage is not as favorable as it used to be.

The report said 46 percent of Americans believe the U.S. is a less influential global player than a decade ago, a sharp increase from just 20 percent in 2004.

The perception that the U.S. is less powerful “has risen sharply since [President Barack] Obama took office, largely because this has become the predominant viewpoint among Republicans,” said Carroll Doherty, the study’s author and director of political research at Pew.

Seventy-three percent of Democrats believe the U.S. has the world’s strongest military, compared with 66 percent of Republicans. “The partisan differences in these views are noteworthy,” Doherty said.

On the economic front, Democrats and Republicans are in general agreement, with about half of respondents from both parties believing the U.S. is the world’s leading economic power.

But there are sharp differences along party lines about America’s perception as a world power. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans believe the U.S. is less important than it was a decade ago.

This view is particularly widespread among supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Seventy-six percent of Trump supporters think less of the U.S. on the world stage, compared with only 26 percent of Democrats.