United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Pew: More Americans Favor Firm Stand on Iran

            The Pew Research Center conducted a poll on the U.S. public‘s views on the Middle East in early October. Around 56 percent of respondents favored taking a firm stand against Iran, while 35 percent preferred avoiding war. The results were released on October 18, ahead of the final presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The poll found that 78 percent of Romney’s supporters favor taking a “firm stand,” compared to 43 percent of Obama’s supporters. The following are excerpts from the poll.

Consistent Support for Firm Stance Against Iran
            Since 2009, the public has maintained that it is more important to take a strong stand against Iran’s nuclear program than to avoid a military conflict with Iran. In the current survey, 56% say it is more important to take a firm stand against Iranian actions, while just 35% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran.
 
            There are wide partisan and ideological differences in priorities for dealing with Iran. Fully 84% of conservative Republicans favor taking a firm stand against Iran’s nuclear program. Fewer than half as many liberal Democrats (38%) agree. There also is a sizable age gap in these opinions. Just 44% of those younger than 30 favor taking a strong stand against Iran; clear majorities in older age categories support a firm stance.
 
 
           
            Among registered voters, 78% of those who support Romney say it is more important to take a firm stand against Iran; just 17% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran. Obama supporters are divided – 48% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict, while 43% say it is more important to take a firm stand against Iran.
 
Click here for the poll.
 

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