WASHINGTON (JTA) — A strong majority of Americans would support military action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, according to a new poll.
Asked whether it was "more important" to "prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action" or to "avoid military conflict, even if Iran may develop nuclear weapons," 61 percent chose the first option, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
The result included majorities of both political parties — 71 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of Democrats — as well as 66 percent of independents. Twenty-four percent said it was more important to "avoid military conflict."
The nationwide survey of 1,500 adults on both landline telephones and cell phones, taken from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
Majorities also were in favor of direct negotiations with Iran and tougher sanctions, although they were not optimistic that either would work. Sixty-three percent said they would support direct negotiations, but only 22 percent thought they would be effective, while 78 percent favored sanctions with 32 percent thinking they would be successful. Partisan differences on those questions were minimal.