Thirty-five years ago Thursday, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by domestic political opponents as he stood watching a parade commemorating his country's 1973 war with Israel. While Gallup did not measure the American public's reaction to Sadat's death, a poll conducted shortly beforehand documented his broad popularity in the U.S.
|Jun 19-22, 1981|
|Highly favorable (+5, +4)||17|
|Somewhat favorable (+3, +2, +1)||46|
|Somewhat unfavorable (-1, -2, -3)||17|
|Very unfavorable (-4, -5)||7|
Sadat's U.S. favorable rating using Gallup's 10-point "scalometer" method was 63% in June 1981. That was just slightly lower than the 69% favorable score he received shortly after he resolved certain territorial disputes with Israel in the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords, but still higher than the 58% and 53% ratings he earned in the months before the signing.
Only two years before his assassination, Sadat had shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for what the Nobel committee described as "laying a foundation for future peace between these two one-time enemy countries."
This recognition of Sadat's willingness to negotiate with Israel, as well as Sadat's resulting popularity among Americans, were emblematic of the concerns motivating his political enemies at home.
These data can be found in Gallup Analytics.
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