A new survey from progressive outlet HuffPost found that more Americans agree with President Trump’s decision to take out Iran’s top military leader than disagree with him.
The new HuffPost-YouGov survey found that a plurality of Americans, including nearly half of registered voters, approve of Trump ordering a strategic airstrike on General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The poll, which gauged the opinions of 1,000 U.S. adults between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5, found that 43 percent of respondents approve of Trump’s order to kill Soleimani, including 30 percent who say they “strongly” approve of it and 13 percent who say they “somewhat” approve.
A slightly lower number, 38 percent, disapprove of the order, with 26 percent saying they strongly disapprove and 12 percent saying they somewhat disapprove. Slightly less than a fifth, 19 percent, say they are unsure.
The split is similar among registered voters: 47 percent approve (35 percent strongly, 12 somewhat) and 42 percent disapprove (30 percent strongly, 12 percent somewhat), while 12 percent are unsure.
Unsurprisingly, opinion is largely divided along party lines. While an overwhelming majority (86 percent) of Republicans agree (67 percent strongly and 19 percent somewhat), a slightly less strong majority of Democrats disagree (69 percent; 49 percent strongly, 20 percent somewhat).
Similar to the overall percentage, Independents lean toward Trump, with 40 percent approving (26 percent strongly, 14 percent somewhat) and 32 percent disapproving (21 percent strongly, 11 percent somewhat). A little less than a third, 29 percent, of Independents say they are unsure.
Asked if they think the strike makes conflict with Iran “more likely than before,” “less likely” or “neither more or less,” 57 percent of respondents say more likely, 8 percent say less, and 20 percent say neither. Fifteen percent are unsure. Registered voters feel slightly more strongly that conflict is now more likely, with 62 percent saying it is, 9 percent saying less, and 22 percent saying neither.
As noted by The Hill, the survey found that while a plurality of Americans agree with Trump’s decision, a plurality also suspect that he “did not plan carefully enough.” A total of 43 percent say he went in without enough planning, while 35 percent express confidence in his planning. The responses are again split largely along party lines, 72 percent of Democrats saying he didn’t plan enough and almost the exact same percentage of Republicans, 74 percent, saying he did. Independents lean more toward the “unplanned” option, 37 to 30 percent, respectively, with 30 percent unsure.
After an airstrike took out Soleimani in Baghdad early Friday morning, the U.S. Defense Department issued a statement confirming his death and laying out the Pentagon’s rationale for targeting the general. “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the statement read. “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”