Elections

Polls: 70 percent in Ohio, Florida believe Iran would arm terrorists with nuclear weapons to attack US

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer

Seventy percent of Ohioans and Floridians believe that if Iran were allowed to develop nuclear weapons, the Islamic Republic would arm terrorists to attack the American homeland, two recently released polls reveal.

The foreign policy-focused polls were commissioned by Secure America Now, a self-described non-partisan issues advocacy organization that supports, according to its website, “policies that will protect our nation against terrorist infiltration, attack, and capitulation to our enemies.”*

In Florida, 75.8 percent of respondents said they believe Iran would arm terrorists with a nuclear weapon to attack America while 70 percent of Ohioans indicated the same.

But the polls of the battleground states, both seen as crucial in this November’s presidential election, reveal that the states view President Obama differently on foreign policy. In Ohio, the poll showed that 51.8 percent view Obama’s polices on security and foreign policy as strong, while 44.9 percent view them as weak. In contrast, only 46.2 percent of Floridians said they view Obama’s positions on such issues as strong, while 49.1 percent said they view them as weak.

Similarly, 51.7 percent of Ohioans indicated they approve of President Obama’s handling of national security, while only 46.3 percent of Floridians feel the same way.

The differing view of President Obama in both states carries over to how each state’s residents feel on policy questions. For instance, 53.7 percent of Floridians said that if Israel acts preemptively to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, the U.S. should support the Jewish State, while only 43.7 percent of Ohioans feel the same way.

Nonetheless, large majorities of Ohioans and Floridians believe that a strike by Israel on Iranian nuclear facilities would either benefit everyone in the world, or at least just the U.S. and Israel. Just over 61 percent of Floridians said an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities would benefit everyone in the world, while another 10.5 percent said it would at least benefit the U.S. and Israel. In Ohio, 58.8 percent believe such a strike would benefit everyone in the world, while another 4.5 percent believe it would benefit at least the United States and Israel.

By large majorities, Ohioans and Floridians also indicated they don’t believe that sanctions and negotiations will convince the Iranian regime from developing nuclear weapons. In Florida, 67.4 percent expressed skepticism that such a strategy would work, while in Ohio 66.1 percent feel the same way.

Majorities in both states believe that the initial omission of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the 2012 Democratic platform was intentional, according to the polls.

The polls were conducted by Caddell Associates and McLaughlin & Associates. Both the Florida poll, conducted from Sept. 11-12, and the Ohio poll, conducted Sept. 13-15, surveyed 600 likely general election voters in each state and have a margin of error of 4 percent.

*Correction: This article originally stated that Secure America Now was an advocacy organization founded by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney. They founded Keep America Safe, not Secure America Now. 

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