About four in 10 Americans support the US killing of Iran Gen. Qasem Soleimani, according to a new poll out from USA Today/Ipsos, but a majority of Americans also say the killing and its immediate aftermath have made the US less safe.
The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday — after the US attack on Soleimani, but as Iran launched missiles into Iraq, targeting military bases housing US troops. Many in the poll were fearful about future impacts of the strikes. Only a quarter of Americans think the killing made the US safer, including 10% of Democrats, 14% of independents, and 47% of Republicans.
Almost seven in 10 (69%) say the killing of Soleimani has made it more likely that there will be future Iranian attacks in the Middle East, and a majority who see terrorist attacks on the US more likely (63%), a US and Iranian war more likely (62%) and that Iran will be more likely to develop nuclear weapons (52%).
Americans are split on support for future airstrikes on Iranian military targets, 39% support and 38% oppose, but that lowers significantly when including cultural and world heritage sites (57% oppose, 22% support). President Donald Trump recently threatened the bombing of Iranian cultural and world heritage sites in a tweet. Republicans are split on the issue, with 42% opposed to targeting the sites and 39% support.
Over half of Americans (53%) support limiting “President Trump’s ability to order military strikes or declare war without legislative approval,” while around a third (36%) support Trump’s current strategy with Iran. Around the same that want to limit Trump’s military strikes also believe “Trump’s behavior with Iran is reckless” (52%).
The USA Today/Ipsos poll was conducted January 7 through 8 among a random sample of 1,005 adult Americans reached online. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.