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Poll: Americans Uncertain About Role in Middle East Conflicts

Oct 10, 2014

Credit polls.saintleo.edu

A recent survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute shows that Americans are uncertain about the role that the United States should play in renewed conflicts in the Middle East.

“The number of respondents who list national security, terrorism, and foreign affairs as their largest concerns going into the November election has quadrupled since June,” said Frank Orlando, instructor of political science at Saint Leo University. “This may advantage candidates who have experience in dealing with foreign policy and security. Still, voters remain divided over what steps the government should take around the world.”

Participants were polled on in what scenario they'd support United States military intervention in the Middle East. Results show there is only limited support for a “boots on the ground” approach to the rapidly changing situation and would only be strongly supported in extreme situations like if American civilians have been murdered.

“President Obama appears to be hewing closely to public opinion by promising that the U.S. will not put boots on the ground to stop the ISIS threat. As far as when we should intervene, it's clear that the closer the threat hits home, the more support for intervention exists, as we would expect. After the bombings in the Gaza Strip over the summer, a majority of Americans still favor action if Israel is attacked,” Orlando noted. 

To view the Saint Leo University Polling Institute’s survey results about national politics and policy, including methodology, visit the polling institute’s website, http://polls.saintleo.edu. You can also follow the institute on Twitter @saintleopolls. Saint Leo’s main website is www.saintleo.edu