American Public Turning Against Iran Nuclear Deal According To New Polls

Recent polling has shown the American public to be highly skeptical, at beast, of the Iran Nuclear Deal. That may not be enough to kill it in Congress, though.

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

A new poll from Qunnipiac has some bad news for the Obama Administration and the Iran nuclear deal:

A majority of Americans opposes a recently reached international accord lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for new limits on its nuclear program, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Nearly six in 10 Americans, 57 percent, oppose the nuclear deal, while 28 percent voice support for it in the national poll released Monday, a 2-to-1 margin against the deal.Republicans strongly oppose the deal brokered by the Obama administration, 86 to 3 percent, while Democrats support the top second-term foreign policy agenda item for President Obama, 52 to 32 percent.

A majority of Americans disapproves the way Obama is handling the situation in Iran (56 percent), compared with 35 percent who approve. A majority (58 percent) also thinks the deal makes the world less safe.

The Obama administration has worked to sell the deal reached between the U.S., France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China with Iran to a deeply skeptical American public and Congress.

An ABC/Washington Post poll out July 20 found that 56 percent support the deal and 37 percent oppose it, while a Pew Research Center poll released the following day found that a plurality of Americans familiar with the deal oppose it, 48 to 38 percent.

Another CNN/ORC International poll released late last month found that 52 percent of Americans say Congress should reject the deal, compared to 44 percent who said it should be approved.

In addition to these surveys, a poll released on July 21st from the Pew Research Center showed that a 48% of those surveyed favored the deal while 38% supported it. Digging deeper down, That same poll also showed that 86% of Republicans opposed the deal, while only 14% supported it, and that 36% of Independents support the deal while 49% oppose it. While some of the differences between the polls that have been taken in the month or so since the deal was announced can be explained by differences in the way the questions regarding the deal are asked, it seems fairly obvious that the American public is, at best, dubious about the deal and that Obama Administration has yet to sell them on why this is a good idea. To a large degree, I suppose, this is understandable given the long-standing differences between the United States and Iran and resentments that the American public has because of that. Most of all, though,what each of these polls demonstrate quite clearly, even the polling earlier in July that showed majority support for the deal, is the fact that the public does not trust the Iranian leadership and does not have very much confidence in the President when it comes to foreign policy, something that can be seen in his job approval numbers in that area.

The big question, of course, is what impact polling like this will have on the fate of the deal in Congress. As I’ve said before, it seems clear that both the House and the Senate will be able to put together a majority for a Disapproval Resolution simply because both parties are controlled by the GOP and, even in the Senate, it’s unlikely that many Republicans will vote in favor of the deal. President Obama has already said he would veto this resolution, though, so then it will be up to both the House and the Senate to override the President’s veto. In the House would mean that at least 44 House Democrats would have to join Republicans on an override vote, and that at last 13 Democratic Senators would need to do the same. Realistically, it seems unlikely that that many Democrats would be willing to undercut their President on such an important issue, which is why I’ve said that the odds of Congress actually stopping the Iran deal are still fairly low.

Notwithstanding that, though, so far most prominent Democrats have not taken sides on the matter. The White House did get a boost last week when Michigan Congressman Sander Levin, a strong backer of Israel, endorsed the deal and said he would vote in favor of it, and then again this weekend when Senator Elizabeth Warren did the same. Additionally, the Administration got a boost soon after the deal was announced when Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic Presidential nominee, publicly endorsed the deal. The deal also has the support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who says that Democrats on Capitol Hill will stay united in support of the deal. At the same time, though, most prominent Democrats are still keeping their position on the deal quiet. Perhaps the most prominent person on that list is New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who will become the leader of the House Democratic Caucus in 2017. Schumer has kept his opinions on the deal close to his vest so far, but what he decides to do could have a lot of influence on other Democrats in both chambers of Congress. Today in Politico,  Manu Raju and Burgess Evertt report that Schumer appears to be leaning against the deal and that, in an apparent refection of recent polling, the calls and communications with his office regarding the deal are overwhelmingly negative. If Schumer comes out against the deal, it would be a significant blow the Administration that could cause other Democratic members of Congress to oppose the deal as well. It probably still wouldn’t be enough to create the votes necessary to override the President’s veto, but the vote could agonizingly close, especially in the Senate. This would seem to be especially likely if public opinion continues to be as negative as recent polling has indicated.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2016, Congress, Hillary Clinton, Middle East, National Security, Politicians, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    If Schumer opposes the deal he will be unfit to lead the Democrats. It’s the GOP that wants a war, it’s the GOP that is in bed with Likud, it’s the GOP that places hatred for the black man in the White House ahead of all other considerations. If Schumer opposes this deal he has no business remaining in any sort f leadership position with Democrats.

  2. C. Clavin says:

    I wish they had asked:
    Would you prefer to go to war with Iran instead of inking the deal.
    Or…have you heard a substantive argument against the deal?
    Or…have you heard a viable alternative to the deal?

    Nonetheless…if we are going to pursue policy based on polling…then we should pay attention to questions 69…

    Do you think the federal government should or should not pursue policies that try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans?

    and 70…

    Do you support or oppose increasing taxes on higher income earners to reduce the amount of taxes paid by the middle class?

    These questions poll at 61 and 60 percent respectively.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Full disclosure; Quinnipiac University is a major client of our firm, and my work over the last 14 years has been almost exclusively for QU.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s the GOP that wants a war, it’s the GOP that is in bed with Likud, it’s the GOP that places hatred for the black man in the White House ahead of all other considerations.

    What happened to ‘politics stops at the waters edge’?

    If will be a freaking tragedy if this deal goes down. Especially over domestic politics.

    However, to date Obama’s been a pretty good vote counter and whip.

  5. James Pearce says:

    Huh….every other thing that relies on public opinion and congressional action just sits there on the shelf, collecting dust.

    Maybe this Iran deal will overcome the entropy. We’ve got a huge spread and a low vig. Any bettors?

  6. reid says:

    I can’t help but think this is just a measure of right-wing anti-deal marketing and messaging. Can we somehow gauge the knowledge of the poll respondents? Like with ACA, where so many people just knew “Obamacare” was a terrible thing, yet all of its policies were pretty good.

  7. CB says:

    Huh. It’s almost like idiots hyperventilating in the press about a fairly ok-ish deal has an effect on polling numbers.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    AIPAC plans to purchase Congress for around $20M just before the vote on the Iran deal…and the Republican Jewish Coalition will kick in another $20M on top of that.
    Also, this week a group of House Democrats will depart on a trip to Israel sponsored by an AIPAC affiliate.
    So we are seeing a huge lobbying effort…some say historic….more even than the effort pushing for the Iraq war…which Israel and AIPAC were also on the wrong side of.
    Remember that in 2003, just before we invaded and occupied Iraq, polling was in favor of that debacle by about the same numbers.
    I say let’ see some polling on a draft, and higher taxes, to pay for a war against Iran…which will be no cakewalk by any sane person’s estimation. And what will happen to gas prices when we throw the Middle East into chaos again? Double? More? Let’s see some polling on that?
    Rest assured that the P4+1 ( China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom; plus Germany) who spent 20 months helping to negotiate this deal aren’t going to join any coalition…so it’s going to be us and Israel. Let’s see…how many troops did Israel send to Iraq? Oh yeah…they were not a member of the pretend Multi-National Force.
    Not making this deal is the most assinine thing that could possibly happen in World Affairs…well, since we attacked Iraq for no reason.

  9. Tyrell says:

    Evidently Secretary Kerry got taken to the cleaners: steamed, starched, and permanent pressed !
    My advice to the secretary – stay far away from used car dealers !

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    Evidently Secretary Kerry got taken to the cleaners

    Please provide facts (not emotions) that back up your claim.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. You’ve been brainwashed: steamed, starched and permanent pressed.

  12. humanoid.panda says:

    @reid: @C. Clavin:

    AIPAC plans to purchase Congress for around $20M just before the vote on the Iran deal…and the Republican Jewish Coalition will kick in another $20M on top of that.
    Also, this week a group of House Democrats will depart on a trip to Israel sponsored by an AIPAC affilia

    Oh- would you knock of the “AIPAC bought Congress!” crap.

    Let’s say, arguendo, that Saudi Arabia was opposing the deal and poured 200 million dollars into the deal , and was opposing it, publicly, and proposing people to take a trip to the Kingdom. Would that swing a single vote?
    The reason why AIPAC is able to swing congress is not because it can “buy” legislators, but because it can make a credible threat to do tarnish their reputation as being “anti-Israel.” The only reason that it can do that is because being “pro-Israel” is popular with American public. Now, you can make an argument that this position is silly, that americans should not care about Israel ,that this deal is actually very good for both America and Israel (I subscribe to all three views, to some extent), but to pretend it’s all about villains buying congress and befuddling the innocent American public is basically ignoring reality in favor of a fairy tale.

  13. Tillman says:

    Republicans strongly oppose the deal brokered by the Obama administration, 86 to 3 percent, while Democrats support the top second-term foreign policy agenda item for President Obama, 52 to 32 percent.

    Given most self-identified Republicans are over the median age of the country, I’m guessing longstanding animus going back to the revolution in ’79 and lack of knowledge about the deal’s workings (same demographic watches Fox News) are why these polling numbers are insane.

    Semi-related: Beauchamp over at Vox had an interesting story over how the American public is more war-crazed than its experts in international relations except in the case of Estonia.

  14. humanoid.panda says:

    As for the issue itself: as long as they have votes to sustain a veto, no one in the White House is losing sleep over this issue (and they seem to have it, as most high profile Jewish Democrats in the House are on board- as is Pelosi). For once, presuming that once things are finalized Iran is not going to do anything stupid, the issue will lose all of its interest to anyone but political obsessives- and those are not swing voters. Even among the Jews in Florida, that eternal boogaboo of Jews finally turning republican- anyone who decided that Democrats now hate Israel had defected by 2012.. Pretty much the only danger to the Dems from this deal is Iran is doing something crazy between now and then- and in that case, they are probably wrong on the merits anyway…

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    Old people just love starting wars for young people to die in.

  16. humanoid.panda says:

    @Tillman: The Estonian case is easy to explain: it’s about maintaining the international institutional order (Estonia is member of EU and NATO) that academics care about and the public doesn’t… What suprises me is the tiny gap betweent he public and the experts when it comes to Israel/Palestine, and that only 60% of public supports war on ISIS..

  17. T says:

    @michael reynolds:

    people my age just love starting wars for young people to die in.

    ftfy.

    thanks boomers.

  18. Tillman says:

    @humanoid.panda: It’s even easier to explain than that: most Americans probably have no clue Estonia is a country, let alone where it is or why it might be worth defending from Russia. The article is more diplomatic on this than I am because I’m fairly sure most people don’t remember that one segment of seventh grade social studies.

    What surprises me about Israel/Palestine is that it isn’t above 40% despite the American public’s general support for Israel otherwise.

    @michael reynolds: Well, all the people who’ve fought in wars I know, old and young, tend to have sour thoughts on the idea of new wars. Then again, all the people I know were enlistees, not commissioned officers.

  19. Dave Schuler says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I can see you’ve never seen the expression “Schumer the shomer”.

  20. humanoid.panda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If Schumer opposes the deal he will be unfit to lead the Democrats.

    Harry Reid is pro-life, and yet had been a great Senate leader. Would you purge him?

    Seriously- yes, If Chuck Schumer is the decisive vote OR if he actually whips against the deal, he should go. However, if his conscience and political calculus tell him to vote against while not sabotagin the administration, then purging him is sheer idiocy.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @T:

    The oldest Baby Boomers are now 69. So:

    Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney are not Boomers. George W. Bush is at the outside limit of boomer-dom. John McCain is not a Boomer, George Tenet is.

    Sorry, you have not made the case, and no, you did not ftfy.

  22. stonetools says:

    Is Schumer voting against the deal because Jews are against the deal? Because my understanding was that a plurality of Jews favored the deal. As to why the Republicans so overwhelmingly oppose the deal, I can only reach for the time tested explanation that the Republicans reflexively oppose anything proposed by the n*****r in the White House. Obama could come out in favor of God, motherhood, and apple pie, and the Republicans would oppose that . I am pretty sure the opposition isn’t based on a carefully considered reading of the agreement. Since the hardcore opposition isn’t being driven by reason, it’s time Obama starts pointing back to the Iraq war and spelling out that the alternative to the deal is a worse war. Maybe it’s time to have some wounded warriors get up on the podium with him and have them make the case that we don’t want another war.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    I bet you’d get a different answer from the survey if your two choices were “against iran nuclear deal and for war with iran” vs. “for iran nuclear deal.” Or “for iranian nuclear deal with some restraints on Iran imposed by everyone” vs. “we turn down deal, everyone goes their merry way on sanctions, China makes its own deal with Iran.”

  24. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    A problem here is that the antideal folks are proposing the fantasy alternative that the Iranians fall on their knees and just capitulate to us if we turn down the deal and threaten them John Wayne style. Again, the Administration just hasn’t beern forceful enough to debunking the fantasy and emphasizing the cost in visceral style. Obama unfortunately doesn’t do visceral well. I would say this is a situation where you want Tammy Duckworth leading the charge on this. She would be able to speak with an authority on the costs of no deal that no one on the other side could match.

  25. C. Clavin says:

    @humanoid.panda:
    So their spending $40M…because they don’t need to???
    I understand AIPAC is a powerful lobby with a lot of ears…but they are still spending tens of millions to buy this vote.

  26. motopilot says:

    @T: Jesus Christ. This boomer bashing crap gets old, as if boomers are some kind of bizarre anomaly in human evolution. Get a sense of history, dude. Michael Reynolds was dead on… old people love starting wars for young people to die in.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States

  27. David M says:

    I don’t know that the Q poll was worthwhile, other polls have shown the results vary quite a bit based on how the question is worded.

    It’s likely that any polling of an issue that Obama supports has to either hide that fact or provide much more context to get useful responses.

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    They’re spending….not their spending.
    What a maroon.

  29. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    Evidently Secretary Kerry got taken to the cleaners

    @C. Clavin:

    Please provide facts (not emotions) that back up your claim.

    Crickets….

  30. JohnMcC says:

    Certainly explains why Sen Paul has forgotten that he’s a ‘non-interventionist’, don’t it?

  31. Gustopher says:

    Unless the American people have a sudden desire to go to war in the Mideast again, does this mean that they favor a nuclear armed Iran?

  32. humanoid.panda says:

    @C. Clavin: They are spending 40 million dollars on ads to oppose the agreement, not on donations to Congressmen. The reason they are making those ads is because the public is open to them (you think tobacco lobbyists are using same methods)? AIPAC is a powerful lobby yes, but the source of its power is that it flogs a popular cause.

  33. humanoid.panda says:

    @stonetools:

    Is Schumer voting against the deal because Jews are against the deal? Because my understanding was that a plurality of Jews favored the deal.

    Schumer is opposing the deal because NYC Jews are more right wing on Israel than the median American Jew- and they are his political base.

  34. humanoid.panda says:

    @stonetools:

    As to why the Republicans so overwhelmingly oppose the deal, I can only reach for the time tested explanation that the Republicans reflexively oppose anything proposed by the n*****r in the White House. Obama could come out in favor of God, motherhood, and apple pie, and the Republicans would oppose that . I am pretty sure the opposition isn’t based on a carefully considered reading of the agreement. Since the hardcore opposition isn’t being driven by reason, it’s time Obama starts pointing back to the Iraq war and spelling out that the alternative to the deal is a worse war.

    So, Republicans only started taking crazy foreign policy positions based on jingoism and detestation of diplomacy only starting in 2008? Iraq War, or obsession with Panama Canal, or “Wolverines” or “who lost China” never happened?

    Some people here seem to function like the proverbial guy with a hammer that thinks everything is a nail…

  35. stonetools says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Yeah, but 86 to 3 opposition? Something else is happening other than the traditional Republican preference for war.

  36. Matt says:

    @stonetools: I think the echo chamber is just getting silly strong these days. I had a conversation with a fellow on facebook yesterday where he went from ranting about Muslims taking over the USA to the need to secure the border because apparently the Muslims are coming in through Mexico as part of their take over…

    He didn’t care that I lived near the border and that I could confirm that 90% of the people crossing into the USA are Catholic. He KNOWS THAT THEM MUSLIMS ARE COMING IN!!!

  37. David M says:

    @stonetools:

    Yeah, but 86 to 3 opposition? Something else is happening other than the traditional Republican preference for war.

    It’s just a reflection of how the question was worded. The GOP breakdown is completely meaningless, as they may as well have just asked “Do you approve of Obama giving Iran nuclear weapons?”

  38. stonetools says:

    I’ll point out that while AIPAC opposes the deal, lots of Jewish organizations and Jewish donors support the deal and they are weighing in:

    More than 120 wealthy Democratic donors have written to the party’s leadership in Congress to express support for the Iran nuclear deal, the latest move in a fierce battle for votes on the historic agreement.
    The letter, whose signatories include Hollywood producer Norman Lear, several retired ambassadors and members of the uber-wealthy Democracy Alliance donor network, warns lawmakers that scuttling the deal “would put us back on a path to a nuclear-armed Iran, another costly military campaign — or both.”…
    The letter was spearheaded by J Street, the left-leaning Jewish organization, and the Council for a Livable World, a group with a heavy focus on nuclear non-proliferation. It is addressed to eight members of the Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate, including Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who is considered a critical vote and is under tremendous pressure by conservative pro-Israel organizations determined to kill the agreement.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/iran-deal-congress-donors-support-democrats-120938.html#ixzz3hnOme06z

    I think the battle-even for Schumer’s vote-is far from over.

  39. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Frankly, I’m tired of you and the guys at the donut shop getting free shots on US policy initiatives because you’re so blissfully detached that you think no one is listening to your wingnut ravings and snark. If I get a choice, I’m willing to give you whack jobs what you want and tell you “well, you asked for this” when you’re wondering about how Iran got nukes.

    Just for the record, if you really believe that a nuclear-free Iran is possible, you need to check what they be puttin’ in them donuts and coffee.

  40. DrDaveT says:

    @stonetools:

    Yeah, but 86 to 3 opposition? Something else is happening other than the traditional Republican preference for war.

    This one seems insanely simple to me. I’ve seen 173 ads on TV telling me that this was a terrible deal for America because Iran can’t be trusted and supports terrorism and pokes baby ducks with knitting needles. On the pro-deal side, I’ve seen…

    [crickets]

    Honestly, I sometimes wonder if the Democrats even know when they’re right. You’d think they’d take the time to actually tell someone.

  41. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Gustopher: No, it means that a majority of ‘Murkuns believe that if Obama and Kerry had enough cojones to stand up against the mullahs, the non-proliferation fairies would ride down on their unicorns and finish the job of ending the Iran nuclear threat.

  42. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: or did I get that wrong and it’s really conejos?

  43. David M says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’ve seen 173 ads on TV telling me that this was a terrible deal for America because Iran can’t be trusted and supports terrorism and pokes baby ducks with knitting needles. On the pro-deal side, I’ve seen…

    [crickets]

    The opponents are better funded and probably care more about the issue than the supporters. It’s also a very complicated issue that has opponents who aren’t exactly limited by silly things like facts, so this result isn’t too surprising.

    I personally think that the mindless opposition to the deal should have consequences, but most of the press is too timid to acknowledge how the Republican opposition to the Iran agreement is deeply irresponsible.

  44. stonetools says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Michael and others have said it better, but liberals -and Obama in particular-just do not understand propaganda. Liberals are all about getting things right, and that they think once they come up with the right solution, they merely have to announce it once and Voilà! everyone will understand that it is right and fall into line behind it. If they explain the solution at all, they do it in a rational, analytic fashion, with pie charts, statistics,and long, professorial explanations
    Conservatives aren’t concerned about getting things right. They understand the power of telling people what they want to hear-repeatedly. And what people want to hear is that Iran will capitulate completely if we are tough enough, no matter what rest of the world wants. So they are busy moving people with repeated ads aimed at people’s emotions, slogans and talk about not appeasing the latest Hitler.
    I think you have to counter that with your own ad campaign, with your own emotional appeal. The Obama Administration hasn’t been good about stuff like that. Maybe they’ll finally learn to do it, but I doubt it.

  45. dazedandconfused says:

    @stonetools:

    Someone not engaging in an activity doesn’t mean they don’t understand it. In fact the Dems engage in it occasionally too. Notice how Assad always bombs his people but Kiev never does? It’s not accurate to label all war-mongers as conservatives. I view the PNACers as radical Jacobian liberals myself.

    Also, the scare mongering ads are mostly put on by independent entities, not by the Republican party.

  46. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: Here are some sources:

    http://www.projectsyndicate.org
    Living With Iran Nuclear Deal – Richard Haass

    http://www.businessinsider.com/nucleardealleavesalotuptoiran

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com

    Iran deal’s debut: tepid support, technical problems

    http://www.ijreview.com/7-serious-problems-with-iran-nuclear-deal

    See also the excellent articles by Charles Krauthammer:
    “Worst Agreement in US Diplomatic History”
    “Worse than We Could Have Imagined“

  47. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    the very first link completely contradicts your claim:

    The net result is that the accord should lengthen the period it would take Iran to produce one or more nuclear weapons from several months to as much as a year, making it more likely that such an effort would be discovered in time. The prospect that the JCPOA could keep Iran without nuclear weapons for 15 years is its main attraction. Sanctions alone could not have accomplished this, and using military force would have entailed considerable risk with uncertain results.

    You should go back to watching black & white TV shows on Nickelodeon.

  48. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @C. Clavin: It’s the donuts down at the diner. One or two of them and, suddenly, Charles Krauthammer is making sense whereas before you couldn’t even understand what he was saying.

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I had that after I broke my arm. A couple oxycodone and for about twenty minutes Rush Limbaugh started to make sense. (Isn’t much to watch on workday afternoons.) Didn’t take any more of them, scared straight.

  50. T says:

    @motopilot:

    This boomer bashing crap gets old, as if boomers are some kind of bizarre anomaly in human evolution. Get a sense of history, dude. Michael Reynolds was dead on… old people love starting wars for young people to die in.

    @michael reynolds:

    The oldest Baby Boomers are now 69. So:

    Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney are not Boomers. George W. Bush is at the outside limit of boomer-dom. John McCain is not a Boomer, George Tenet is.

    Sorry, you have not made the case, and no, you did not ftfy.

    adorable. the elderly living in denial. guess what, slugger. boomers ARE the old people.

    you can keep telling yourself otherwise, but you and the rest of your generation are the problem.