Thursday, April 09, 2015
Voters are almost evenly divided over the framework deal the Obama administration has cut with Iran to slow the latter’s nuclear weapons program. But most doubt that Iran will abide by its terms or that its compliance can be verified by the United States.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the agreement the United States has reached with Iran that ends some economic sanctions on that country in exchange for verifiable cutbacks in Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But slightly more (41%) oppose that deal. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The opposition and uncertainty is perhaps driven in part by the finding that just 30% think Iran is even somewhat likely to uphold its end of the deal. Sixty-one percent (61%) consider Iran’s compliance unlikely. This includes seven percent (7%) who feel Iran is Very Likely to honor the terms of the deal versus 30% who say that’s Not At All Likely.
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Voters expressed similar reservations about the Iranian deal last month before more of the details about it were known, and 60% think Congress needs to sign off on any agreement the administration reaches with Tehran. But 60% also believe Iran is not likely to slow or stop its development of nuclear weapons as a result of the agreement.
Forty percent (40%) of voters are at least somewhat confident that the United States and its allies will be able to verify that Iran is not building nuclear weapons, but that includes only 13% who are Very Confident. Fifty-seven percent (57%) are not confident that Iran’s compliance with the agreement can be verified, with 32% who are Not At All Confident.
Echoing concerns raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many congressional Republicans, a plurality (44%) of voters believes the treaty the administration has negotiated with Iran puts Israel more at risk. Only 16% think it makes Israel safer. Twenty-four percent (24%) say the agreement will have no impact on Israel’s national security, while 16% are not sure.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 7-8, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of Americans still see Iran as an enemy of the United States, but that’s down from 67% last year and 83% in 2012. But belief that Israel is a U.S. ally also has fallen, with Democrats now saying Mexico is a better ally than the Jewish state.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters give the Obama administration good or excellent marks for its handling of negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program. Thirty-nine percent (39%) view the administration’s performance as poor.
Men and those 40 and over are more critical of the administration and more likely to oppose the deal with Iran than women and younger voters are. But all are in general agreement that Iran is unlikely to uphold the deal. Those under 40 are more confident than the others, however, that the agreement can be verified by the United States and its allies.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Democrats believe the administration has done a good or excellent job in negotiating with Iran. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republicans and 50% of voters not affiliated with either major party say the administration has performed poorly.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats favor the deal with Iran. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Republicans and a plurality (47%) of unaffiliateds are opposed. Most Democrats believe Iran will honor its end of the treaty and that its compliance can be verified. Republicans and unaffiliated voters strongly disagree in both cases.
Sixty percent (60%) of Republicans and 50% of unaffiliated voters believe the agreement puts Israel more at risk. Just 25% of Democrats agree.
Among those who oppose the agreement with Iran, 78% believe it puts Israel more at risk, a view shared by just 15% of those who favor it.
Forty-four percent (44%) of all voters believe America’s relations with Israel have gotten worse since Obama took office, while just nine percent (9%) think they have gotten better.
In late 2013, 37% said the United States should get Israel’s approval before making any nuclear deal with Iran, but 41% disagreed.
The Obama administration has accused Israel of spying on its nuclear negotiations with Iran, a charge the Israelis have denied. But U.S. voters rate Iran a bigger spying threat than Israel.
One-out-of-two voters (49%) now believes U.S. government policies in the last five years have hurt America’s relations with most other countries.
Most voters still view nuclear weapons as critical to this country’s safety, and just one-in-four agrees with President Obama’s call for a reduction in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
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