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Voters Uncertain Who’s Primarily Behind Military Operation In Libya

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

While both the United States and NATO military forces have been carrying out airstrikes in Libya to protect rebel forces and civilians from Moammar Qaddafi’s regime, voters nationwide have mixed ideas of who is taking the lead in the military operation at this time.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 38% believe the burden of the military operation in Libya is being handled primarily by U.S. allies like England and France. Thirty-two percent (32%) believe the United States is primarily handling the operation, while another 30% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Democrats and voters not affiliated with either major political party lean more toward the view that our allies are the ones who are primarily handling the military operation, while Republicans are more evenly divided. A plurality of GOP voters (42%) says the United States is primarily handling the military operation in Libya.

President Obama authorized military action in Libya under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which gives him 60 days to commit armed forces in an overseas conflict without congressional approval. The latest polling finds that 41% of voters agree with President Obama’s decision to take military action in Libya, while 33% disagree with that decision. Another 26% are undecided.

Sixty-three percent (63%) say it is likely that Gaddafi will be removed from power as a result of the military action now being taken by the United States and its allies, showing virtually no change in this expectation since Osama bin Laden was killed.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 15-16, 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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