Nearly half of Americans believe President Trump is likely to get the US into war

June 20, 2019, 8:00 PM GMT+0

To half the country (and to nearly two-thirds of Republicans) in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, Iran is an enemy of the United States.

It is in the same category as North Korea, a country that less than 10 percent think of as a friendly nation. Far more see those North Korea and Iran countries as enemies than say the same about Russia. Americans believe that Iran, as the US government claims, was responsible for the attacks on a commercial ship in the Persian Gulf. If the claim is proven true, 47% of Americans even would support military action against Iran.

Democrats would oppose military action, while Republicans and independents would favor it. Still, half of Democrats believe Iran is a serious threat to the United States, and they are only a little less likely than Republicans to view Iran as an unfriendly country. It is important to note that the military action question presumed there is proof, and Americans may feel differently when confronting the actual possibility of conflict, one that the president has said he is not planning and does not think is necessary.

Americans are divided on President Donald Trump’s management of Iran, and also closely divided on his handling of foreign policy in general. More (49%) say they are uneasy about how he would handle an international crisis than are confident in his approach (38%). Women are especially concerned. By 54% to 32%, they say they are uneasy about the president’s ability to handle an international crisis.

Nearly half (48%) believe President Trump is likely to get the United States into a war. One-third (33%) say that's unlikely.

Foreign involvement in the 2016 US elections, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, came not from Iran, but from Russia. Americans clearly dislike any foreign interference in elections. Although in previous polls, Republicans expressed skepticism about whether Russia interfered in 2016, they agree with the public overall that campaigns should not use information from representatives of foreign governments to make negative ads about opponents, nor should they accept contributions from representatives of foreign governments.

Just a quarter of Republicans would use information from foreign governments in a campaign. Even though Republicans reject the claim that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election, they are nearly as likely as Democrats to judge Russia as a country unfriendly to the United States. However, fewer Republicans (33%) than Democrats (52%) call it an enemy.

See the full toplines and tables results for The Economist/YouGov weekly poll.

Related: The low jobless rate is good for President Trump, but it’s not the only way people judge the economy

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