A new Zogby poll out today shows that 52% of likely voters would support a strike against Iran to prevent them from building nuclear weapons. Another 53% believe it “likely” that such an attack will take place before the next election:
Democrats (63%) are most likely to believe a U.S. military strike against Iran could take place in the relatively near future, but independents (51%) and Republicans (44%) are less likely to agree. Republicans, however, are much more likely to be supportive of a strike (71%), than Democrats (41%) or independents (44%). Younger likely voters are more likely than those who are older to say a strike is likely to happen before the election and women (58%) are more likely than men (48%) to say the same – but there is little difference in support for a U.S. strike against Iran among these groups.Surprisingly, Hillary Clinton is seen as the candidate best able to deal with the Iranians followed by Giuliani and John McCain:
When asked which presidential candidate would be best equipped to deal with Iran – regardless of whether or not they expected the U.S. to attack Iran – 21% would most like to see New York U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton leading the country, while 15% would prefer former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and 14% would want Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain in charge. Another 10% said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama would be best equipped to deal with Iran, while Republican Fred Thompson (5%), Democrat John Edwards (4%) and Republican Mitt Romney (3%) were less likely to be viewed as the best leaders to help the U.S. deal with Iran.
It appears that Hillary Clinton’s transition from soft on defense liberal to hawk is complete – at least as far as the perception of her candidacy is concerned. Her initial support for the war and perhaps more importantly, her refusal to apologize to the hard left for voting for it in the first place may have helped change that perception.
Zogby’s automated telephone polling has its detractors so it might be best to take this news with a grain of salt. But clearly a significant portion of the electorate appears ready to bite the bulllet on Iran and don’t mind the idea of Hillary leading that effort.