As worldwide anxiety grows in regards to a possible military showdown between Israel and Iran, The Hill conducted a poll late last week asking American voters if they would condone a U.S. attack on Iran as a means to prevent the nation from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Nearly half of those surveyed agree that military force should be used. The Hill reports:
"Forty-nine percent said military force should be used, while 31 percent said it should not and 20 percent were not sure.
Sixty-two percent of likely voters said they were somewhat or very concerned about Iran making a terrorist strike on the United States, while 37 percent said they were not very concerned or not at all concerned about it."
Bridging the gap between the growing foreign policy concern regarding Iran and ongoing issues of out-of-control federal debt which will be discussed as the budget process kicks off this week, The Hill next asked how voters would feel about scaling back financial commitments to the military:
Nearly half — 49 percent — of likely voters also said they opposed cutting military spending to balance the federal budget, while 40 percent said it should be reduced.
But 52 percent said the U.S. military’s presence in Europe and Korea should either be reduced (42 percent) or eliminated (10 percent), while 36 percent said those forces should be retained and 5 percent said they should be increased.
"Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.
But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations."
The topic of a possibly nuclear weapon equipped Iran has been discussed frequently by Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail.
Front-runner Mitt Romney has predicted that "If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.”
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has adamantly called attention to the Iranian nuclear threat, saying in a "Meet the Press" interview last month that if elected president he would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities if the nation did not comply with international arms inspectors.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul has advocated for a less interventionist approach to dealing with Iran's nuclear activity, which has been criticized by his rivals including Newt Gingrich who said during a interview on CNN in December “I think Ron Paul’s views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American."
The Hill's poll findings were based on a nationwide survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Feb. 2 by Pulse Opinion Research, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.