Polls: Americans on Soleimani Strike

January 16, 2020
Updated

American politicians divided on partisan lines over President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Republicans in Congress defended the strike as justified retribution for the deaths of Americans, while Democrats condemned the strike as a dangerous escalation. But a consensus among the American people emerged across major polls conducted in the days after the strike:

  • A narrow plurality thought the decision to kill Soleimani was the right decision.
  • Most Americans also believed the strike left America less safe.
  • A clear majority of Americans believed Congress should play a larger role in future military action against Iran.
  • An overwhelming majority said they did not want to go to war with Iran.

The following are a collection of polls from major outlets.

 

POLLING TOPLINES:

 

Pew Research Center (January 8-13)

All in all, do you think the U.S. decision to conduct an airstrike that killed Iranian General Soleimani was the right decision or the wrong decision?

  • 48% Right decision
  • 43% Wrong decision
  • 9% Don’t know

All in all, do you think the Trump administration’s approach toward Iran has made the United States safer/less safe?

  • 28% Safer
  • 44% Less safe
  • 26% Hasn’t made much difference
  • 2% Don’t know

All in all, do you think the Trump administration’s approach toward Iran has increased/decreased the likelihood of a major military conflict between the U.S. and Iran?

  • 54% Increased
  • 17% Decreased
  • 26% Not made much difference
  • 2% Don’t know

How much do you trust what the Trump administration says about the situation with Iran?

  • 23% A great deal
  • 22% A fair amount
  • 18% Not too much
  • 35% Not at all

 Pew Poll

 

Chicago Council on Global Affairs (January 10-12)

 

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Morning Consult/Politico (January 10-12)

As you may know, President Trump recently authorized an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani. Based on what you know, do you approve or disapprove of the airstrike?

  • 49% Approve
  • 39% Disapprove
  • 12% Don’t know

Following the airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, Iran launched missiles at two military bases in Iraq though no US or Iraqi citizens were killed in these attacks. In response to these attacks President Donald Trump has decided to move forward with economic sanctions, but not further military attacks on Iran. Do you approve or disapprove of each of the following?: President Trump’s decision not to take further military action against Iran

  • 71% Approve
  • 14% Disapprove
  • 15% Don’t know

Do you approve or disapprove of each of the following? President Trump’s decision to impose economic sanctions on Iran

  • 58% Approve
  • 22% Disapprove
  • 19% Don’t know

Based on what you know, how likely do you believe it is that the United States will go to war with Iran in the next month?

  • 9% Very likely
  • 29% Somewhat likely
  • 27% Somewhat unlikely
  • 22% Very unlikely
  • 13% Don’t know

Politico Poll

 

NPR/Marist Polling (January 7-12)

Do you approve or disapprove of how President Donald Trump is handling Iran?

  • 42% Approve
  • 49% Disapprove
  • 9% Unsure

NPR Poll

 

Quinnipiac University (January 8-12)

Do you think killing Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, was the right action for the United States to take or the wrong action for the United States to take?

  • 45% Right action
  • 41% Wrong action
  • 15% Don’t know

Do you think the killing of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, has made Americans more safe, less safe, or has had no impact on the safety of Americans?

  • 32% More safe
  • 45% Less safe
  • 18% No impact
  • 5% Don’t know

Do you think President Trump should consult with Congress if he plans to launch more military strikes in the Middle East or not?

  • 65% Yes
  • 29% No
  • 6% Don’t know

Do you approve or disapprove of the decision to send more U.S. troops to the Middle East, following the killing of Qassem Soleimani?

  • 44% Approve
  • 46% Disapprove
  • 10% Don’t know

Would you support or oppose the United States going to war against Iran?

  • 26% Support
  • 64% Oppose
  • 10% Don’t know

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling the nation's policy toward Iran?

  • 43% Approve
  • 51% Disapprove
  • 7% Don’t know

 

ABC News/Ipsos (January 10-11)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Trump is handling the current situation with Iran?

  • 43% Approve
  • 56% Disapprove
  • 2% Don’t know

Do you think the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani has made the United States:

  • 25% More safe
  • 52% Less safe
  • 22% Hasn’t had much effect one way or the other

How concerned are you about the possibility of the United States getting involved in a full-scale war with Iran:

  • 73% Concerned
  • 27% Not concerned

 

USA Today/Ipsos (January 7-8)

Do you support or oppose the U.S. killing Iranian General Qasem Soleimani?

  • 42% Support
  • 33% Oppose
  • 25% Don’t know

Has the killing of Soleimani and its immediate aftermath made the United States more safe or less safe?

  • 24% More safe
  • 55% Less safe
  • 21% Don’t know

At this moment, would you support or oppose U.S. airstrikes on Iranian military targets in Iran and across the Middle East?

  • 39% Support
  • 38% Oppose
  • 23% Don’t know

At this moment, would you support or oppose U.S. airstrikes on targets in Iran including cultural and world heritage sites?

  • 22% Support
  • 57% Oppose
  • 21% Don’t know

If Iran were to kill a major U.S. officer in Middle East, would you support or oppose U.S. airstrikes on Iranian military targets in Iran and across the Middle East?

  • 55% Support
  • 21% Oppose
  • 24% Don’t know

Do you agree or disagree with the following?: Killing Soleimani shows Iran that the U.S. won’t be pushed around

  • 53% Agree
  • 31% Disagree
  • 15% Don’t know

Do you agree or disagree with the following?: President Trump’s behavior with Iran is reckless

  • 52% Agree
  • 34% Disagree
  • 15% Don’t know

 

Reuters/Ipsos (January 3-6)

How likely, if at all, do you believe it is that United States will go to war with the following countries within the next few years: Iran

  • 31% Very likely
  • 40% Somewhat likely
  • 12% Not very likely
  • 5% Not at all likely
  • 13% Don’t know

In your opinion, should the U.S. conduct a preemptive attack on Iranian military interests?

  • 27% Yes
  • 41% No
  • 33% Don’t know

If Iran attacked U.S. military forces first, how should the U.S. respond?

  • 8% Diplomacy only
  • 34% Limited military response with airstrikes on Iranian military targets
  • 37% Full military response with airstrikes on Iranian military targets and ground troops to invade Iran
  • 21% Don’t know

 

Morning Consult/Politico (January 4-5)

As you may know, President Trump recently authorized an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani. Based on what you know, do you approve or disapprove of the airstrike?

  • 47% Approve
  • 40% Disapprove
  • 14% Don’t know

Based on what you know, do you think the airstrike that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani will make the United States:

  • 32% Safer
  • 50% Less safe
  • 18% Don’t know

And based on what you know, do you think the airstrike that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani makes war with Iran:

  • 28% Much more likely
  • 41% Somewhat more likely
  • 10% Somewhat less likely
  • 5% Much less likely
  • 17% Don’t know

Which of the following comes closest to your opinion, even if neither is exactly correct?

  • 37% President Trump was correct to move forward with the airstrike in Baghdad without congressional approval
  • 49% President Trump should have sought congressional approval before moving forward with the airstrike in Baghdad
  • 15% Don’t know

 

YouGov/HuffPost (January 3-5)

Do you approve or disapprove of the decision to order the airstrike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani?

  • 43% Approve
  • 38% Disapprove
  • 19% Not sure

Do you think President Trump should or should not have gotten authorization from Congress before ordering the airstrike?

  • 44% He should have gotten authorization from Congress
  • 34% He should NOT have gotten authorization from Congress
  • 22% Not sure

Do you approve or disapprove of the decision to send 3,500 additional U.S. troops to the Middle East following the airstrike?

  • 40% Approve
  • 39% Disapprove
  • 21% Not sure

Did you approve or disapprove of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal?

  • 36% Approve
  • 38% Disapprove
  • 25% Not sure

Do you approve or disapprove of Donald Trump’s handling of issues related to Iran?

  • 40% Approve
  • 46% Disapprove
  • 14% Not sure

Do you think Donald Trump does or does not have a clear strategy for dealing with Iran?

  • 32% He does
  • 47% He does not
  • 21% Not sure

 

Updated