Poll: Majority Of Likely Voters Don’t Think Libyan Mission Is Worth The cost

Public skepticism with the intervention in Libya remains at a very high level:

Only a quarter of Americans believe the Obama administration’s military intervention in Libya is worth the cost, and even fewer support arming anti-regime fighters, according to a new poll for The Hill.

Notably, among the 1,000 likely voters polled, a greater proportion of self-identified conservatives voiced outright opposition on both issues than liberals or centrists. On both matters, conservative opposition was around 60 percent, and less than 20 percent said they supported either the costs of the mission (19 percent) or arming the Libyan rebels (15 percent).

Thirty-nine percent of liberals said the mission is not worth the costs, and 38 percent opposed shipping arms to anti-regime fighters, though 39 percent were unsure about it.

Slightly less than half of centrists (49 percent) supported the price tag, while slightly more than half (51 percent) said they supported arms shipments.

The survey found that 25 percent of all those polled said the operation is worth the initial $550 million price tag, while 51 percent said it was not and 24 percent remain undecided.

At the very least, this makes clear that any expansion of the mission in Libya is going to be a very hard sell for President Obama.


FILED UNDER: Africa, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, World Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tano says:

    Pulse Opinion Research = Rasmussen. Caveat emptor.\

    What a bizarre formulation – worth the cost? Why not just ask a standard support question? How can anyone rationally assess the value of this at this point? I think they are just fishing for negative reactions. BS poll.

  2. Tano says:

    At the very least, this makes clear that any expansion of the mission in Libya is going to be a very hard sell for President Obama.

    When has Obama expressed any interest in expanding the mission?

  3. Tano says:

    And BTW, the recent AP poll asks specifically:

    “”Would you favor, oppose or neither favor nor oppose the U.S. taking increased military action against Libya to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power?”
    Favor -55, Oppose 33

    If you actually do some work on this question – look at all the polls done recently with various different questions, you see a lot of opinions all over the place – certainly not any pattern consistent with Rasmussen’s finding.

  4. Now Abdel Fateh Younis is criticizing NATO for not bombing enough.

    I gotta eat some serious crow here.

    When the people whose side you intervened for start bitching and moaning, it sure makes the naysayers case for them.

    We “saved” Benghazi. Let’s wind our involvement down. It’s a no-win. Just like the naysayers predicted.