Obama’s Speech Does Little to Calm Americans’ Fears over Military Involvement in Libya, One Day Before Congress is Required to Vote on the Use of Military Force

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According to a poll taken by Whitman Insight Strategies just after President Obama’s major Middle East speech yesterday and ahead of today’s visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Americans remain opposed to US military force involvement in Libya, and want their Congressional representatives to vote against the Authorization of Use of Military Force in that country.

President Obama delivering his Middle East speech

"Americans have serious reservations about the use of U.S. military force in Libya"
- Pollster Bernard Whitman

79% believe Congress should vote TODAY on the use of military force in Libya, in accordance with the War Powers Act

  •     60% want their Congressional representatives to vote AGAINST continuing American military involvement in Libya

74% are concerned that Al Qaeda or Islamist elements are part of the anti-government forces

73% say the US should not promote democracy in other countries through the use of military force

  •     60% doubt that military action in Libya will result in establishment of a stable, democratic government

64% believe that military involvement in Libya will become a long term commitment

  •     78% are opposed to the use of ground troops

This poll comes just days before the G-8 meeting in France, where Obama is likely to hear requests for help in escalating the military campaign against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. The rebellion has largely stalled on the ground, and some European diplomats say more American help is needed.

Other findings from the poll include:

  •     Of the 1 in 3 Americans (31%) who saw or heard something about President Obama’s speech, 49% had a negative reaction
  •     54% do not think the U.S. and its allies have a clear goal in taking military action in Libya
  •     60% oppose the U.S. and its allies sending arms and military supplies to anti-government groups in Libya
  •     67% say the country is off on the wrong track

This telephone survey of 800 adult Americans was taken on May 19, 2011, by Whitman Insight Strategies, an independent polling firm based in New York City http://www.whitmanstrategies.com. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.93%.


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Bernard Whitman
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