Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Support for Military Action in Libya Is Down to 24%

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Voters remain skeptical about U.S. military involvement in Libya, with a plurality still opposed to further military action in the north African country.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 24% of Likely U.S. Voters now believe the United States should continue its military action in Libya. Forty-four percent (44%) oppose further action there, while 32% are undecided. A month ago, 26% favored continued U.S. military operations in Libya, while 42% were opposed.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of voters rate the Obama administration’s handling of the situation in Libya as good or excellent. That’s unchanged from last month. Twenty-seven percent (27%) view the administration’s performance as poor.

Positive marks for the administration’s response to events in Libya peaked at 43% in late March following the president’s televised address to the nation explaining his decision to commit U.S. military forces to the overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

Only 24% of voters view Libya as a vital national security interest for the United States these days. Forty-seven percent (47%) disagree and say it’s not vital to U.S. national security. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are not sure. This parallels findings in April which marked a slippage in belief that Libya is a vital U.S. national security interest.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 10-11, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of all voters agree that “the United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.”

Voters are slightly more optimistic this month, however, that an end to U.S. involvement in Libya is in sight. Thirty-eight percent (38%) think it is at least somewhat likely that the U.S. military role in Libya will be over by the end of the year, up six points from June. Forty-percent (48%) think it’s unlikely. This includes 13% who believe it’s Very Likely the United States will be out of the Libya conflict militarily by December 31 and 10% who say it’s Not At All Likely.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters say they have followed recent news reports about the situation in Libya, but that includes just 29% who are following Very Closely.

Male voters are twice as likely as female voters to believe the United States should continue military action in Libya. But 57% of men say Libya is not a vital U.S. national security interest, compared to 38% of women.

Most Republicans (53%) and voters not affiliated with either of the major parties (51%) agree that Libya is not vital to U.S. national security, a view shared by just 38% of Democrats.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters in the president’s party think the administration is doing a good or excellent job handling the Libya situation. Just 14% of Republicans and 29% of unaffiliated voters agree. However, Democrats are only slightly more supportive of continued military action in Libya than Republicans and unaffiliateds are.
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