Poll: Voters oppose defense cuts, Republicans favor keeping troops in Afghanistan, Iraq

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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Registered voters oppose cutting the defense budget but favor withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a poll set to be released Tuesday.

The Resurgent Republic poll, which The Daily Caller has exclusively obtained in full, shows that registered voters oppose defense budget cuts, even in light of America’s current fiscal predicament. Respondents were given two arguments. The pro-defense cut argument suggested that the defense cuts were necessary to reign in our budget and that “it is time to cut our military presence overseas” anyway. The anti-defense cut position indicated that “national defense is the most important function of the federal government” and that current levels of defense spending are needed “to be sure our military has all the resources it needs in a dangerous world.”

When presented with those positions, registered voters opposed defense cuts 52 percent to 42 percent. Democrats, however, responded in favor of defense cuts, 57 percent to 35 percent.

When presented with two positions on Afghanistan, one saying that America’s job there is done and it is time to bring our troops home, and another saying that there is still work to do “as long as the Taliban and al-Qaeda remain a threat,” voters said it’s time to get out, 54 percent to 38 percent. Republicans disagreed with Democrats and independents, supporting the stay-the-course position in Afghanistan 53 percent to 42 percent.

On Iraq, respondents sided with pulling out American troops — 50 percent to 44 percent — against the argument that completely leaving the Middle Eastern country will “jeopardize the gains” America has won and that “some continued American military presence is necessary to protect the country from extremist and outside threats like Iran.” Independents were evenly split on the issue at 47 percent and Republicans supported keeping some troops in Iraq, 60 percent to 36 percent. Democrats overwhelmingly supported withdrawal, 67 percent to 28 percent.

President Obama recently announced all American troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year.

The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters from October 30 to November 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Resurgent Republic is a 501(c)(4) organization which, according to its website, “promote[s] conservative free market principles such as lower taxes and economic growth, and support strong national defense policies.”

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Jamie Weinstein