US Swing States Are Against More Military Strikes Abroad
Veterans groups commission a poll to make sure Trump and the Democrats know it
A majority of likely voters in a handful of swing states do not support an American military strike on Iran despite escalating tensions, according to a new poll commissioned by a pair of veterans groups, liberal-leaning VoteVets and conservative-leaning Concerned Veterans for America.
The survey — conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Florida and Virginia — found that most Republican and Democratic voters alike are wary of more military action abroad. Eighty-three percent of the respondents said they preferred to see the same or lower levels of foreign military engagement by the U.S.
The poll comes amid mounting hostility between the United States and Iran. Last Thursday, President Donald Trump said the U.S. military was “cocked and loaded” for a strike against the country, but ultimately called it off with minutes to spare. Earlier that week, the White House accused Iran of shooting down an American surveillance drone, as well as using naval mines to attack six oil tankers in the region.
Despite the survey respondents’ opposition to attacking Iran, 58 percent said they still believe war with Iran is likely.
Many of the Democrats running for president have criticized Trump for his hawkish approach to Iran, calling for the U.S. to rejoin the international deal to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons that was struck during the Obama administration.
“This can be a major issue to contrast with Trump on,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic consultant who conducted the poll. “If these candidates are paying attention to the polling, they’ll respond accordingly because these voters do not want more military action.”
The poll, conducted from June 14-20, also found that half of voters in the surveyed states want to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which was passed after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 of that year and has since become the legal justification for a wide range of American military actions.
Another 30 percent of participants agreed that to leave the AUMF in place “so military force can be authorized quickly and without deliberation,” according to the polling memo.
That’s another topic many 2020 Democrats agree on: All the senators running for president voted for its repeal in 2017. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivered a speech earlier this month calling for the law to come off the books, too.
Among Democratic primary voters in early primary and caucus states, 7 out of 10 oppose war with Iran, while 58 percent of Democrats oppose the extension of the AUMF and support a new congressional review.
Lake Research Partners and Stand Together conducted the poll together, surveying 2,951 likely voters online across the six states. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points.