Better a dictator than Islamists

July 10, 2013, 7:35 PM GMT+0

Americans are twice as likely to prefer an undemocratic government in Egypt over an elected, Islamist government.

On July 3rd the Egyptian military overthrew the government of President Mohamed Morsi in a coup, arresting him and hundreds of other leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The army seized power after mass protests in Cairo and other major Egyptian cities demanding fresh elections. President Morsi had been elected with over half the vote in Egypt's first free and fair election a little over a year ago. Morsi had become highly unpopular at least with Egypt's urban population and was widely criticized for failing to effectively tackle Egypt's major economic problems even as he pushed an increasingly Islamist domestic agenda.

The latest YouGov research shows that nearly half of Americans are undecided about whether an un-elected government is preferable to an elected, Islamist government, but among those who do express an opinion, 36% would prefer to see an un-elected, non-Islamist government similar to the current military government. Only 19% prefer to see an elected, Islamist government.

Republicans are by far the most supportive of an un-elected, non-Islamist government in Egypt, with 56% favoring that and only 10% preferring an elected, Islamist government. Democrats are more evenly split, with 29% favoring an elected, Islamist government and 24% an un-elected government.

The Obama Administration has held back from describing the Egyptian military's takeover as a coup, and has encouraged all parties involved to agree on a timetable for future elections to be contested by all parties.

Complete results are available here.

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