Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

War in Afghanistan Most Unpopular In US Polling History

Posted Jan 06, 2014 at 12:23 AM by Maurice Berger

A poll by CNN/ORC reports that just 17% of Americans support the war in Afghanistan; 82% are opposed. These numbers represent the lowest support for a war in the history of U.S. polling. To put things in perspective, pollster Keating Holland notes that  "opposition to the Iraq war never got higher than 69% in CNN polling while U.S. troops were in that country, and while the Vietnam War was in progress, no more than six in 10 ever told Gallup's interviewers that war was a mistake."

Americans Oppose US Military Involvement In Syria

Posted Jun 07, 2013 at 12:55 PM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, 68% of "Americans say the United States should not use military action in Syria to attempt to end the civil war there if diplomatic and economic efforts fail, while 24% would favor U.S. military involvement." Here is Gallup's breakdown:

Suppose all economic and diplomatic efforts fail to end the civil war in Syria. If that happens, do you think the United States should -- or should not -- use military action to attempt to end the conflict? May 2013 results

Majority Oppose US Military Action In Syria and N. Korea

Posted May 02, 2013 at 9:33 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by the New York Times, most Americans oppose US military action in Syria and North Korea: "62% of the public say the United States has no responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria between government forces and antigovernment groups, while just one-quarter disagree. Likewise, 56% say North Korea is a threat that can be contained for now without military action, just 15% say the situation requires immediate American action and 21% say the North is not a threat at all."

Americans Not Supportive Of Libyan Intervention

Posted Apr 28, 2011 at 12:54 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Public Policy Polling survey reports that a mere 27% of Americans favor military intervention in Libya; 40%  oppose it.

Libya: Lowest Support Ever For U.S. Military Action

Posted Mar 27, 2011 at 11:40 PM by Maurice Berger

According to a Gallup survey, 47% of Americans now approve of the military action against Libya. This number represents the lowest approval for any U.S. military campaign over the past four decades as gauged by Gallup.Here is Gallup's chart of comparable supports for military actions:

Approval of Prior U.S. Military Actions

Americans Not Optimistic About Future Of U.S. Military

Posted Mar 05, 2010 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

In a result that suggests that Americans are not optimistic about the future of the U.S. military, a recent Gallup survey reports that while 64% of Americans believe the U.S. is the No. 1 military power in the world today, far fewer--a staggering 36%--believe that the U.S. will be No. 1 militarily in 20 years. Nevertheless, "most Americans believe the U.S. will continue to have combat troops regularly involved in fighting around the world over the next two decades."

By Wide Margin, Americans Want Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Posted Feb 18, 2010 at 1:26 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner reports that by a substantial margin--54% to 35%--voters overwhelmingly support repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. GQR writes:
"Unlike so many other issues in the country right now, this issue simply does not polarize voters. Even among Republicans, repeal finds support with four in ten voters."

Significant Jump In National Support For Gays In The Military

Posted Jun 09, 2009 at 1:53 AM by Maurice Berger

The nation is becoming increasingly friendly to the idea of gay rights and equality, as a recent Galup poll that measures attitudes about homosexuals serving openly in the military suggests: "Americans are six percentage points more likely than they were four years ago to favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military, 69% to 63%. While liberals and Democrats remain the most supportive, the biggest increase in support has been among conservatives and weekly churchgoers -- up 12 and 11 percentage points, respectively."

Gallup's analysis continues: "The finding that majorities of weekly churchgoers (60%), conservatives (58%), and Republicans (58%) now favor what essentially equates to repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy implemented under President Clinton in 1993 is noteworthy for several reasons. First, the data show that these traditionally conservative groups are shifting on this issue, supporting it to a far greater extent than they support legalized gay marriage. Second, it suggests the political playing field may be softer on this issue, and President Barack Obama will be well-positioned to forge ahead with his campaign promise to end the military ban on openly gay service members with some support from more conservative segments of the population. To date, it is estimated that more than 12,500 servicemen and servicewomen have been discharged under the policy, including more than 200 since Obama took office."

Obama's America (Part 5): The State Of The Nation--Military Morale

Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 7:34 PM by Maurice Berger

One important factor in an incoming president's foreign policy and defense profile is his relationship to the military. Some presidents have assumed office with strong backing from military personal and leaders (Ronald Regan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush). Others have had a more difficult time, most notably Bill Clinton, especially after his attempt (in the first days of his new administration) to allow gays to serve the the military, through the still controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. It looks like service members view president-elect Obama as a negative rather than positive force according to a Military Times poll of active-duty service members. Six out of 10 respondents say they are uncertain or pessimistic about Obama as commander in chief, , according to a Military Times survey: "In follow-up interviews, respondents expressed concerns about Obama’s lack of military service and experience leading men and women in uniform. . . . Underlying much of the uncertainty is Obama’s stated 16-month timetable for pulling combat troops out of Iraq, as well as his calls to end the 'don’t ask, don’t tell' policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military, according to survey responses and interviews. Most active service members still trust George W. Bush more than the incoming president: When asked who has their best interests at heart — Obama or Bush — a higher percentage of respondents picked Bush, though Bush has lost ground over time. About half of the respondents said Bush has their best interests at heart this year, the same percentage as last year but a decline from 69 percent in 2004." Obama's support increases significantly among African-American service members--eight out of 10 said they are optimistic about their incoming boss. One important caveat: The responses are unrepresentative of the the military as a whole, undercounting minorities, women and junior enlisted service members. Still, these numbers suggest that Obama may have a bumpy road ahead in his role as commander in chief.