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Poll: Majority of Republicans Want More Action in Iraq

12:11 PM, Jun 23, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Most Republicans say the United States should doing something about the violence in Iraq, according to a poll from CBS News and the New York Times. The poll found 52 percent of Republican adults say the U.S. has a "responsibility" to act in Iraq over the recent wave of terrorism there, and 53 percent say the country should be doing more there. Just 43 percent of Democrats and only 37 percent of independents said the U.S. has a responsibility in Iraq.

Iraq

Overall, 42 percent say the U.S. has a responsibility to Iraq, the Middle Eastern country from where American troops fully withdrew in 2011. Over the last few weeks, militant terrorists led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have marched through several cities in defiance of the Iraqi military. President Barack Obama, who authorized the withdrawal, said last week he plans to send a few hundred "military advisers" to Iraq to assist Nouri al-Maliki's government. 

According to the poll, 41 percent of all adults say Obama's proposed deployment is about the right response so far, with 29 percent saying he should do more and 22 percent saying he should do less. Just 21 percent of Republicans, though, say Obama should do less in Iraq, compared with 19 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of independents.

Will the rise and influence of ISIS in Iraq increase the threat of terrorism against the United States? Half of adults say that threat will stay the same, with 41 percent saying it will increase. Sixty percent of Republicans, however, say the terrorist threat will increase due to the instability in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Republicans seem to have gained on Democrats on foreign policy issues. At FiveThirtyEight.com, Harry Enten notes that since 2011, the GOP leads between the two parties in polls on who voters trust more with foreign policy, and that advantage has increased since then to near 2003 levels. Here's more from Enten:

At the end of his first term, the two parties were trusted roughly evenly on foreign policy. But over the past two years, crises – including the fallout over the 2011 attacks in Benghazi, Libya; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year; and the recent resurgence of conflict in Iraq — have come. Republicans regained their advantage.

The most recent poll on the issue, from Fox News, shows 46 percent of registered voters think the Republicans are better on foreign policy, and 35 percent prefer the Democrats. That 11 percentage-point gap in favor of the Republicans is wider than the gap on any subject the survey tested, except for which party is “more pro-business.”

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