Nearly half of Americans favor a pre-emptive U.S. strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons development program, a new Newsmax poll reveals — but there is a wide disparity between the opinions of Republicans and Democrats.
And surprisingly, nearly one-fourth of Democrats say they oppose U.S. military action even if Iran launches a terrorist attack on America.
The Newsmax survey conducted by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research also found that 40 percent of respondents believe Iran has defied the United States mainly because of the Obama administration’s lack of resolve in stopping the Islamic Republic’s weapons program.
Respondents in the poll, which included roughly an equal number of Republicans, Democrats, and independents, were asked: “Currently there are reports that Iran is rapidly attempting to develop nuclear weapons. What is your opinion of the United States taking pre-emptive military action to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons?”
Overall, 48.5 percent say they favor U.S. action, 26.1 oppose it, and 25.4 have no opinion.
But among Republicans, a whopping 67.3 percent favor American action, compared with 37.6 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents.
Insider/Advantage CEO Matt Towery told Newsmax: “I was surprised by the degree of support for military action. Overall it is nearly 50 percent, and that is a strong degree of support.
“Republicans overwhelming favor it, but there is a healthy number of Democrats who favor it as well, which would probably come as a surprise to the Obama administration. And another 28 percent of Democrats have no opinion, so the non-military position of Obama is not necessarily favorable to them either.”
Respondents also were asked their opinion of Israel’s taking pre-emptive military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Overall, 53 percent favor it, 21.4 percent oppose, and 25.6 have no opinion.
Again, Republicans are far more likely to support a military strike — 69.7 percent of Republicans favor an Israeli strike, compared with 43.1 percent of Democrats and 44.8 percent of independents.
When asked whether they would support “substantial U.S. military actions” on Iran’s capital, Tehran, if Iran launched a terrorist attack on the U.S., a substantial 22.7 percent of Democrats say they would not support military action and another 20.1 percent have no opinion. Just 4.5 percent of Republicans would oppose it and 86.1 percent favor it. Among independents, 72.4 percent say they would support military action and 11.5 percent would not.
Overall, 72.3 percent support a strike.
“The most interesting finding is that a large majority of all respondents would support a strike against Iran following a terrorist attack, which shows the public is back to favoring military action,” Towery said.
“We’re beginning to see a drift, because of growing fears about Iran, toward a more pro-military position.”
As for the Democrats who oppose a strike, “that’s the view of the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, which supported Obama as a completely anti-war candidate — which he turned out not to be,” Towery added. “It’s the hard core that is opposed to any action.”
The poll also included this question: “What is your opinion of the following statement, ‘Iran has defied the United States primarily because Iran perceives the Obama administration as weak and lacking the resolve to stop its efforts to create nuclear weapons.’”
Respondents split evenly — 39.4 percent agree and 39.1 disagree, while 21.5 have no opinion. But an overwhelming 65.8 percent of Republicans agree and 14.9 percent have no opinion. Among Democrats, 13.9 percent agree, 60.8 disagree, and 25.4 have no opinion. Among independents, 36.7 percent agree and 38.6 percent disagree.
“This is not good news for the Obama administration — as many people agree as disagree,” Towery observed.
“And that number could go up if something, let’s say chilling, happens in that region.”