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2020 Opinion Leaders Survey

RESEARCH Public Opinion Survey by Craig Kafura , Dina Smeltz , Joshua Busby , Joshua D. Kertzer , and Jonathan Monten
Candidate Joe Biden speaks in front of an American flag
AP Photos

We look at where foreign policy professionals and the American public align—and diverge—as Joe Biden takes office.

To investigate how public and opinion-leader views have changed during the Trump administration, the Texas National Security Network and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs conducted our fourth joint opinion leaders survey from August 3 to September 7, 2020. The survey included 781 foreign policy opinion leaders from different professional groups, including executive branch agencies, Congress, academia, think tanks, the media, interest groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), religious institutions, labor unions, and business. In the related briefs, we compare these findings among opinion leaders to findings among the public using the 2020 Chicago Council Survey.

About the Authors
Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Craig Kafura is the assistant director for public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader. At the Council, he coordinates work on public opinion and foreign policy and is a regular contributor to the public opinion and foreign policy blog Running Numbers.
Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Dina Smeltz, a polling expert, has more than 25 years of experience designing and fielding international social and political surveys. Prior to joining the Council to lead its annual survey of American attitudes on US foreign policy, she served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US State Department's Office of Research from 1992 to 2008.
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Nonresident Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Nonresident Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy expert Joshua Busby
Joshua Busby is an associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Nonresident Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy expert Joshua Busby
Joshua D. Kertzer
Professor of Government, Harvard University
Joshua D. Kertzer's research specializes in the intersection of international security, political psychology, foreign policy, and public opinion. He is the author of Resolve in International Politics (Princeton University Press, 2016), along with articles appearing in a variety of academic journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Politics, and World Politics.
Jonathan Monten
Associate Professor; Director
Jonathan Monten is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Public Policy Program at University College London.