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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

War With Iran: Not So Fast

A couple weeks ago I expressed skepticism about a Pew survey suggesting that a majority of Americans were feeling pretty bullish about military action towards Iran to stop its nuclear program, in no small part because the poll didn’t distinguish between different types of military action.
Now there’s a Washington Post/ABC poll finding that’s a bit more nuanced. 42% of respondents favor an air attack on Iranian facilities to prevent acquisition of nuclear weapons, while 54% oppose that step; and 33% favor an invasion of Iran to topple the government, while 62% are opposed.
The Post write-up on the poll notes that partisan differences on these questions aren’t as large as you might expect, though ideological splits are more noticeable (liberals oppose bombing Iran 74/24, while conservatives favor it 56/38, and moderates are positioned exactly half-way between the two). Even Republicans (57/40) and conservatives (51/44) oppose a ground invasion aimed at regime change, perhaps remembering how that went in Iraq.
This poll doesn’t make support for military action contingent on the failure of other options; Americans support direct talks with Iran by 82/18, and international economic sanctions by 78/18.

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