Zogby Poll: 52% Support U.S. Military Strike Against Iran

Zogby Poll: 52% Support U.S. Military Strike Against Iran

October 29, 2007

A majority of likely voters – 52% – would support a U.S. military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, and 53% believe it is likely that the U.S. will be involved in a military strike against Iran before the next presidential election, a new Zogby America telephone poll shows.

The survey results come at a time of increasing U.S. scrutiny of Iran. According to reports from the Associated Press, earlier this month Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran of “lying” about the aim of its nuclear program and Vice President Dick Cheney has raised the prospect of “serious consequences” if the U.S. were to discover Iran was attempting to devolop a nuclear weapon. Last week, the Bush administration also announced new sanctions against Iran.

Democrats (63%) are most likely to believe a U.S. military strike against Iran could take place in the relatively near future, but independents (51%) and Republicans (44%) are less likely to agree. Republicans, however, are much more likely to be supportive of a strike (71%), than Democrats (41%) or independents (44%). Younger likely voters are more likely than those who are older to say a strike is likely to happen before the election and women (58%) are more likely than men (48%) to say the same – but there is little difference in support for a U.S. strike against Iran among these groups.

When asked which presidential candidate would be best equipped to deal with Iran – regardless of whether or not they expected the U.S. to attack Iran – 21% would most like to see New York U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton leading the country, while 15% would prefer former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and 14% would want Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain in charge. Another 10% said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama would be best equipped to deal with Iran, while Republican Fred Thompson (5%), Democrat John Edwards (4%) and Republican Mitt Romney (3%) were less likely to be viewed as the best leaders to help the U.S. deal with Iran. The telephone poll of 1,028 likely voters nationwide was conducted Oct. 24-27, 2007 and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

Clinton leads strongly among Democrats on the issue, with 35% saying she is best equipped to deal with Iran, while 17% would prefer Obama and 7% view John Edwards as the best choice. Giuliani is the top choice of Republicans (28%), followed by McCain (21%) and Fred Thompson (9%). One in five independents chose Clinton (21%) over McCain (16%) and Giuliani (11%). Clinton was the top choice among women (24%), while 14% would be more confident with Giuliani in the White House and 11% would prefer McCain. Men slightly prefer McCain (18%) to Clinton (17%) on this issue, while 15% said Giuliani is best equipped to deal with Iran. The survey also shows there is a significant amount of uncertainty if any of the long list of declared candidates would be best equipped to deal the Iran – 19% overall said they weren’t sure which candidate to choose.

There is considerable division about when a strike on Iran should take place – if at all. Twenty-eight percent believe the U.S. should wait to strike until after the next president is in office while 23% would favor a strike before the end of President Bush’s term. Another 29% said the U.S. should not attack Iran, and 20% were unsure. The view that Iran should not be attacked by the U.S. is strongest among Democrats (37%) and independents, but fewer than half as many Republicans (15%) feel the same. But Republicans are also more likely to be uncertain on the issue (28%).

As the possibility the U.S. may strike Iran captures headlines around the world, many have given thought to the possibility of an attack at home. Two in three (68%) believe it is likely that the U.S. will suffer another significant terrorist attack on U.S. soil comparable to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – of those, 27% believe such an attack is very likely. Nearly one in three (31%) believe the next significant attack will occur between one and three years from now, 22% said they believe the next attack is between three and five years away, and 15% said they don’t think the U.S. will be attacked on U.S. soil for at least five years or longer. Just 9% believe a significant terrorist attack will take place in the U.S. before the next presidential election.

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