July 3, 2014 - Iraq - Getting In Was Wrong; Getting Out Was Right, U.S. Voters Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; 92 Percent Back Background Checks For All Gun Buys
PDF format

The 2003 war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, American voters say 61 - 32 percent, and President Barack Obama's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in 2011 was the right thing to do, voters say 58 - 37 percent in a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today.

But voters disapprove 55 - 37 percent of the way President Obama is handling the situation in Iraq and disapprove 52 - 42 percent of the way he is handling the situation in Afghanistan, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

The pace of U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is "about right," 46 percent of voters say, while 26 percent say Obama is moving "too quickly" and 20 percent say "not quickly enough." Among voters in military households, 32 percent say "too quickly," as 19 percent say "not quickly enough" and 41 percent say "about right."

By a 51 - 27 percent margin, American voters blame former President George W. Bush, rather than Obama, for the situation in Iraq. Only 35 percent of voters, however, say Obama is better than Bush conducting foreign policy, while 39 percent say he is worse.

American voters oppose 63 - 29 percent, with opposition from all party, gender and age groups, sending U.S. ground troops back into Iraq. When asked about air strike options:
  • 2 percent support the use of piloted aircraft;
  • 20 percent support use of drones or cruise missiles, where American pilots are not at risk;
  • 30 percent support using both options;
  • 39 percent say there should be no U.S. airstrikes.
"By 2-1, American voters believe the Iraq War was a mistake and most say it was the fault of President George W. Bush, but President Barack Obama isn't exactly getting high marks for the way he has handled the two conflicts he inherited," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

American voters say 56 - 39 percent that it is not in the U.S. national interest to get involved in Iraq. But a total of 72 percent of voters say it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that if Islamic militants take over Iraq, "they would launch a terrorist attack against the U.S. in the near future."

Voters say 51 - 39 percent that the U.S. should not work with Iran to help the Iraqi government defeat Islamic militants.

The U.S. is doing too much around the world and it is time to do less internationally and focus more on domestic problems, American voters say 64 - 32 percent. Agreement is strong among all party, gender and age groups, ranging from 56 - 39 percent among Republicans to 76 - 22 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old. Gun Control

American voters support 92 - 7 percent, including 92 - 6 percent among gun owners, requiring background checks for all gun buyers. Support ranges from 86 - 11 percent among Republicans to 98 - 2 percent among Democrats.

Voters also support 89 - 9 percent laws to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns. Gun owners support this idea 91 - 7 percent.

But only 50 percent of voters support "stricter gun control laws," with 47 percent opposed.

"Americans are all in on stricter background checks on gun buyers and on keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill," Malloy said. "But when it comes to 'stricter gun control,' three words which prompt a negative reflex, almost half of those surveyed say 'hands off.'"

Voters support 58 - 30 percent federal government actions to limit greenhouse gases from existing power plants to reduce global warming. Republicans are opposed 47 - 38 percent, while all other party, gender and age groups support such limits by wide margins.

From June 24 - 30, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,446 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter

49. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the situation in Iraq?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              37%    12%    67%    31%    36%    37%    42%    42%    33%    34%
Disapprove           55     82     25     60     58     53     55     49     59     57
DK/NA                 8      6      8      9      6      9      3      9      7      9
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Approve              31%
Disapprove           64
DK/NA                 6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation in Iraq?
                     Jul 03  Nov 03
                     2014    2011
 
Approve              37      61
Disapprove           55      34
DK/NA                 8       5
 
 
50. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the situation in Afghanistan?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              42%    16%    72%    36%    43%    41%    42%    48%    41%    37%
Disapprove           52     78     22     56     53     51     52     46     54     55
DK/NA                 7      6      6      8      4      9      6      7      6      7
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Approve              35%
Disapprove           60
DK/NA                 5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation in Afghanistan? (* Post Bin Laden Death)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jul 03  Jul 11  Nov 03  Sep 01  Jul 14  May 05  Nov 18
                     2014    2013    2011    2011    2011    2011*   2009
 
Approve              42      46      50      43      50      59      38
Disapprove           52      45      41      47      42      30      49
DK/NA                 7       9       9      10       8      10      12
 
 
51. Please tell me which of the following statements comes closer to your point of view: A) The United States is doing too much in other countries around the world, and it is time to do less around the world and focus more on our own problems here at home. B) The United States must continue to push forward to promote democracy and freedom in other countries around the world because these efforts make our own country more secure.
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
A) Focus on home     64%    56%    65%    67%    64%    64%    76%    64%    58%    61%
B) Promote democracy 32     39     32     29     32     33     22     33     37     32
DK/NA                 4      5      3      4      5      4      2      3      5      7
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
A) Focus on home     62%
B) Promote democracy 35
DK/NA                 3
 
 
58. Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the United States?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              50%    24%    80%    44%    41%    58%    49%    54%    45%    52%
Oppose               47     71     17     52     57     38     50     43     52     41
DK/NA                 3      4      2      4      3      4      1      3      3      7
 
                     Gun
                     HsHld
 
Support              32%
Oppose               65
DK/NA                 3
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the United States?
                     Jul 03  Oct 02  Apr 04  Mar 07  Feb 07  Jul 17
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2008
 
Support              50      54      53      51      52      54
Oppose               47      41      42      42      43      40
DK/NA                 3       5       4       7       5       5
 
 
59. Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              92%    86%    98%    92%    90%    94%    93%    91%    92%    93%
Oppose                7     11      2      7      9      5      7      7      7      5
DK/NA                 1      3      1      1      1      2      -      1      1      2
 
                     Gun
                     HsHld
 
Support              92%
Oppose                6
DK/NA                 1
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?
                     Jul 03  Oct 02  Apr 04  Mar 07  Feb 07
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013
 
Support              92      89      91      88      92
Oppose                7       9       8      10       7
DK/NA                 1       1       1       2       1
 
 
60. Do you support or oppose laws to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              89%    90%    91%    87%    89%    88%    89%    86%    90%    91%
Oppose                9      8      8     10      9      9     11     13      6      7
DK/NA                 2      2      1      2      2      2      -      1      3      2
 
                     Gun
                     HsHld
 
Support              91%
Oppose                7
DK/NA                 2
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose laws to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns?
                     Jul 03  Oct 02
                     2014    2013
 
Support              89      88
Oppose                9       9
DK/NA                 2       3
 
 
61. In an effort to reduce global warming, do you think the federal government should limit the release of greenhouse gases from existing power plants, or don't you think so?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  58%    38%    76%    58%    55%    60%    74%    64%    52%    46%
No                   30     47     13     32     36     24     21     24     37     35
DK/NA                13     15     11     10      9     16      5     12     12     19
 
 
62. Do you think Barack Obama has been better in conducting foreign policy than George W. Bush, worse, or about the same as George W. Bush?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Better               35%     6%    73%    26%    32%    38%    41%    41%    31%    29%
Worse                39     75      6     39     42     36     26     33     44     44
About the same       25     17     19     34     25     25     30     25     24     23
DK/NA                 2      2      1      1      2      2      3      1      1      3
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Better               28%
Worse                47
About the same       24
DK/NA                 1
 
 
63. Do you think going to war with Iraq in 2003 was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Right thing          32%    56%    15%    29%    35%    29%    31%    31%    32%    32%
Wrong thing          61     37     80     63     60     62     59     65     61     61
DK/NA                 7      7      5      8      5      9     10      4      7      7
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Right thing          39%
Wrong thing          56
DK/NA                 5
 
TREND: Do you think going to war with Iraq in 2003 was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing? (* in 2003)
                                                             RIGHT THING...
                                                             High    Low
                     Jul 03  Nov 03  Mar 05  Nov 12  May 14  Sep 17  Jul 03
                     2014*   2011    2009    2008    2008    2003    2014*
 
Right thing          32      36      36      36      33      58      32
Wrong thing          61      60      60      58      62      37      61
DK/NA                 7       4       5       6       5       5       7
 
 
64. Do you think President Obama's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 was the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Right thing          58%    30%    90%    52%    56%    60%    66%    64%    52%    54%
Wrong thing          37     62      8     43     41     33     29     31     43     40
DK/NA                 5      7      2      5      3      7      5      5      5      6
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Right thing          52%
Wrong thing          43
DK/NA                 5
 
TREND: Do you think President Obama's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 was the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do? (* by the end of the year)
                     Jul 03  Nov 03
                     2014    2011*
 
Right thing          58      74
Wrong thing          37      21
DK/NA                 5       5
 
 
65. Do you support or oppose the U.S. sending ground troops back into Iraq to help the Iraqi government defeat Islamic militants?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              29%    34%    22%    32%    33%    25%    40%    34%    28%    17%
Oppose               63     56     70     62     62     64     52     58     65     76
DK/NA                 8     11      8      6      5     10      8      8      7      7
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Support              28%
Oppose               67
DK/NA                 5
 
 
66. Do you think the U.S. should launch airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq using piloted aircraft, or launch airstrikes that do not put U.S. lives at risk, such as drones or cruise missiles, or a combination of both piloted aircraft and drones or cruise missiles, or should the U.S. not launch airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Piloted aircraft      2%     1%     2%     2%     2%     2%     -      2%     2%     1%
Drones/Cruise mssls  20     20     24     18     18     22     13     22     22     20
Both                 30     42     17     32     41     20     29     29     33     27
No airstrikes        39     26     48     41     35     43     56     36     35     39
DK/NA                 9     12      9      7      5     13      2     11      8     12
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Piloted aircraft      2%
Drones/Cruise mssls  17
Both                 36
No airstrikes        38
DK/NA                 7
 
 
67. Who do you blame more for the situation in Iraq, President Obama or former President George W. Bush?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Obama                27%    54%     5%    26%    32%    23%    20%    20%    31%    36%
Bush                 51     20     81     52     48     54     61     60     48     39
NEITHER (VOL)        11     14      7     12     11     11      9     12     12     11
BOTH (VOL)            5      7      2      5      4      6      4      5      5      6
DK/NA                 5      6      4      5      4      6      6      4      4      8
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Obama                32%
Bush                 44
NEITHER (VOL)        15
BOTH (VOL)            5
DK/NA                 4
 
 
68. Do you think it is in the national interest of the United States to be involved in the conflict in Iraq, or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  39%    48%    31%    38%    46%    32%    31%    45%    43%    34%
No                   56     43     63     58     49     61     66     52     52     57
DK/NA                 6      9      6      4      5      7      4      4      5      9
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Yes                  41%
No                   53
DK/NA                 5
 
 
69. Do you think the U.S. should or should not work with Iran to help the Iraqi government defeat Islamic militants?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Should               39%    33%    44%    42%    41%    37%    44%    40%    41%    34%
Should not           51     58     45     50     55     48     51     53     50     51
DK/NA                 9      9     11      8      4     14      5      7      9     14
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Should               33%
Should not           60
DK/NA                 7
 
 
70. If Islamic militants take over Iraq, how likely do you think it is that they would launch a terrorist attack against the U.S. in the near future; very likely, somewhat likely, not so likely, or not likely at all?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Very likely          37%    51%    24%    39%    37%    37%    26%    35%    42%    38%
Smwht likely         35     34     36     34     32     37     35     33     37     35
Not so likely        16      7     22     17     16     15     22     19     11     15
Not likely at all     8      4     11      8     11      5      9      8      6      8
DK/NA                 5      5      7      3      3      6      7      5      3      5
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Very likely          39%
Smwht likely         31
Not so likely        17
Not likely at all    10
DK/NA                 3
 
 
71. From what you've read and heard, do you think Barack Obama is removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan too quickly, not quickly enough, or is he handling this about right?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Too quickly          26%    49%     5%    28%    31%    22%    17%    23%    31%    30%
Not quickly enough   20     15     23     21     17     22     25     22     17     17
About right          46     25     66     44     45     46     53     46     46     41
DK/NA                 8     11      5      7      6     10      5      8      6     11
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Too quickly          32%
Not quickly enough   19
About right          41
DK/NA                 7
 
 
72. Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama administration releasing five Taliban prisoners in exchange for the Taliban releasing U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              37%    17%    61%    30%    38%    35%    51%    43%    28%    30%
Disapprove           54     77     27     61     56     53     38     47     65     60
DK/NA                 9      7     12      9      5     12     11     10      6     10
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Approve              33%
Disapprove           61
DK/NA                 6
 
 
73. Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama's decision to hold a press conference with Bowe Bergdahl's parents?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              34%    17%    56%    28%    33%    36%    49%    38%    28%    28%
Disapprove           50     68     26     57     54     47     38     49     55     54
DK/NA                16     15     17     15     14     18     14     13     16     18
 
 

Demographic Summary

Additional Crosstabs