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34% Now Support U.S. Involvement in Libya

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

With the U.S. military now actively involved in Libya, voters are more supportive of an American role in the Libyan crisis but also are more critical of President Obama’s handling of the situation.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey – taken over the last two nights – finds that 34% of Likely U.S. Voters now think the United States should get more directly involved in the Libyan crisis, up 12 points from 22% two weeks ago.  Forty-eight percent (48%) say the United States should leave the situation alone, down from 63% in the previous survey. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure which course is best. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty-one percent (41%) of voters rate the Obama administration’s response to the situation in Libya as good or excellent, unchanged from earlier in the month. But 28% now say the administration is doing a poor job, up from 21%.

One likely explanation for the increased support for U.S. involvement in Libya is the United Nations’ approval of the use of multi-national air strikes to help rebels attempting to overthrow the government of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters say they are more supportive of American involvement in Libya now that the U.N. has approved the mission. Fifteen percent (15%) say the U.N. action has made them less supportive, while 32% say it has had no impact on their opinion.

Fifty percent (50%) think a change in the government of Libya will be good for the United States, up from 42% two weeks ago. Only six percent (6%) think a government change there will be bad for America. Twenty-two percent (22%) say it will have no impact, while another 22% are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 20-21, 2011 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.

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