By and large, Americans agree that the United States is a nation with distinct character, anchored in a unique history and its constitutional republicanism. But a recent Gallup poll suggests a number of them doubt President Barack Obama feels the same way.
According to Gallup, at least 73 percent of Americans believe in "U.S. exceptionalism," including a 91 percent of Republicans. But, at the same time, three-quarters of those who believe the U.S. is exceptional say they worry America's status in the world is far from secure and believe the U.S. is at risk of losing its unique character.
But how does the country's commander-in-chief feel? Nearly 40 percent of Americans doubt that President Obama believes in the country's exceptionalism. Perhaps not surprisingly, Republicans lead the pack in doubting the president.
In the end, Gallup predicts that the issue of America's "exceptionalism" may become a pivotal issue in the upcoming 2012 presidential election:
Some of President Obama's potential Republican challengers are among those who have suggested that the U.S. is exceptional, but that this status is at risk... Given that Americans already believe that the U.S. is exceptional and that its status as the greatest nation in the world is at risk, Republican candidates' political challenges would be to convince voters that Obama's policies and actions on the world stage are to blame, and that he does not share their values on this issue.