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Poll: 'Voters Want Decisive Foreign Policy in Middle East'

8:33 AM, Sep 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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New polls taken in Ohio and Florida find that "voters want decisive foreign policy in the Middle East." The polls were conducted by Patrick Caddell and John McLaughlin.

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"In the first polling in key battleground states that measure public sentiment on U.S. national security issues in the wake of terrorist attacks in Libya, Egypt and anti-American protests across the Middle East and elsewhere, results in Florida and Ohio reveal that clear – and in Florida, overwhelming – majorities support a strong foreign policy in the Middle East, and a robust national defense," write the pollsters in a memo. "Further, they remain uneasy about the current state of national security and the direction of the country’s foreign policy strategy."

Caddell and McLaughlin add in a memo:

"OVERVIEW: The results of these two statewide polls show that Florida and Ohio voters are very concerned about national security issues – especially regarding the current election agenda. This is so, particularly in Florida, where seven in ten (71%) of voters said such issues are very important; almost six in ten (59%) of Ohio voters noted them as very important. The issue of Iran developing nuclear weapons weighs heavily among voters of both states. The respondents say that the sanctions against Iran are not working. Sizable majorities in both states believe that Iran will share nuclear weapons with terrorists. Support for Israel remains strong. The Muslim Brotherhood is known and disliked.

"The national defense cuts are seen as too deep and cutting into our military superiority. There is a closely divided public in both states on whether the President's policies are making America stronger or weaker. It seems very clear that in both Florida and Ohio national security issues could be decisive."

And on general security attitudes, they note, "When asked from a list, which one issue they view as the most important issue to the security of the United States, preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, preventing terror attacks against Americans and preserving US military superiority receive strong support in both states."

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