U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his first State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 27, 2010. 
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Many observers of U.S. foreign policy have long been concerned about the gap between the policy preferences of the public and the actions of the country’s leaders. Over time, this disconnect may undermine Washington’s ability to project power and confidence internationally, while creating democratic accountability issues at home. As Benjamin Page and Marshall Bouton warned in The Foreign Policy Disconnect, a “lack of public support for official foreign policy can send bad signals to international adversaries, constrain policy choices, upset policy continuity, and destabilize political leadership.” Two recent surveys by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs shed new light on the potential gap in foreign policy attitudes between the elite and the public. The first polled average U.S. citizens, and the second surveyed foreign policy leaders from government, academic institutions, media organizations, think tanks, and interest groups. The ambitious project marks the first major survey of

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