Washington, DC, January 8, 2020 — New polling from Reuters/Ipsos conducted after the Soleimani killing and before the Iranian missile strikes finds that 41% of Americans believe Iran to be an “imminent threat”. This represents a 16 point increase since the question was last posed in May of 2019 (24%). Furthermore, a majority of Americans think that it is very or somewhat likely America will be at war with Iran in the next few years (71%) – a nearly 20 point increase since May (52%).
With regards to specific policy responses, a plurality (41%) say that the US should not conduct a preemptive attack on Iranian military interests. However, if Iran were to attack US forces first, Americans are split on if the American response should be a limited to airstrikes on Iran military targets (34%) or should be a full response with airstrikes and a ground troop invasion (37%). Only 8% support a purely diplomatic response, and 21% say they don’t know.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between January 3-6, 2020 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 427 Democrats, 393 Republicans, and 101 independents. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. The poll also has a credibility interval ± 5.4 percentage points for Democrats, ± 5.6 percentage points for Republicans, and ± 11.1 percentage points for independents.
Also present in the topline are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted May 17-20, 2019 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,007 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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