THE PLANK OCTOBER 6, 2009
Woah. I find this new Pew poll very surprising, and frankly even a little hard to believe*:
The public approves of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, although most Americans are not hopeful the talks will succeed. And a strong majority (61%) says that it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Far fewer (24%) say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran, if it means that the country may develop nuclear weapons.
At first I wondered if this was a result of responses from people who haven't been paying much attention, and thus may not appreciate the consequences of attacking Iran. But no: The poll also finds that "comparable majorities of those who have heard a lot about the dispute over Iran's nuclear program (64%), and those have heard little or nothing about this (59%), say it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means using military force."
Am I missing something in the topline data? If not, this is pretty stunning.
* Pew does excellent work, to be clear, or I wouldn't even link. But sometimes polls get it wrong.