Tuesday, November 6, 2007

George W. Bush is the Most Hated President In American History

Poll finds Americans split on taking military action in Iran

WASHINGTON — Americans are concerned about Iran's nuclear program but split on whether military action should be undertaken if diplomacy and economic sanctions fail to stop it, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

The findings underscore public concern about an Iranian threat and a partisan divide over how to respond. Iran has emerged as a key issue in the presidential race, especially among Democrats.

While 46% of those surveyed say military action should be taken either now or if diplomacy fails, 45% rule it out in any case. Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to endorse taking military steps.

"If you had more follow-on questions — on what if the military action was unilateral, (for instance) — then support would tend to diminish," says Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. "But it does indicate that approximately half of Americans are concerned enough that they would at least seriously consider it, and that's worth noting."

Tough talk from President Bush and Vice President Cheney about Iran's nuclear program seems to have generated concern about a potential threat and alarm about the prospect for premature U.S. military action.

In the telephone survey of 1,024 adults Friday through Sunday:

•Three of four Americans say they are concerned that the United States "will not do enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons." On this issue, there is bipartisan accord: 35% of Republicans and 36% of Democrats say they are "very concerned" about that prospect.

•However, three of four Americans also express concern that the United States "will be too quick to use military force" against Iran.

On that, partisans disagree. Just 25% of Republicans are "very concerned" about the premature use of military force, compared with 57% of Democrats.

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards have tapped Democrats' unease on the issue in recent days, criticizing Hillary Rodham Clinton for backing a Senate resolution that designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

In a speech Monday in Iowa City, Edwards warned that the Bush administration "is repeating the march to war with Iran" as it did in the lead-up to the war with Iraq.

Meanwhile, Bush reached an unwelcome record. By 64%-31%, Americans disapprove of the job he is doing. For the first time in the history of the Gallup Poll, 50% say they "strongly disapprove" of the president. Richard Nixon had reached the previous high, 48%, just before an impeachment inquiry was launched in 1974.

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