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Americans Want Hawkish Attitude Towards Iran

A Commentary by Douglas Schoen

The American people have clearly spent a great deal of time thinking about Iran and President Ahmadinejad.

Overall, 72% followed news stories about his visit last week to the U.S. closely. Only 1% said he was an ally of the United States and a majority (51%) called his nation an enemy.

Two thirds agreed that New York City was right to deny him access to Ground Zero and 62% said that Iran sponsors terrorism against the U.S.

Given these findings, it should not be surprising that voters divided evenly earlier in the year (40%-40%) over whether the U.S. should use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

In keeping with these findings, over half said that a war with Iran was very or somewhat likely within the next year.

This strongly suggests that the electorate fully wants and expects the Presidential candidates to maintain a hawkish posture toward Iran during the campaign. Indeed. Rasmussen polling in 2006 revealed that the American people see Iran as the greatest national security threat facing the country.

Douglas Schoen is a founding and former partner of Penn Schoen & Berland, and a Fox News Contributor.

Schoen was President Bill Clinton's research and strategic consultant during the 1996 reelection campaign.

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