Poll shows 2-1 support for Iran deal

Q: Thinking now about the situation with Iran - would you support or oppose an agreement in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons?

What a ridiculous question.  Only a bloodlusting, warmongering neocon would say he opposes a deal when the question is framed like that.  By 59%-31%, Americans would support such a deal, according to this Washington Post/ABC News poll.

And looking around the internet this morning, that's the headline.  Except the real news is that 60% of Americans don't trust Iran any farther than they can toss an ayatollah.

But the survey — released hours before Tuesday’s negotiating deadline — also finds few Americans are hopeful that such an agreement will be effective. Nearly six in 10 say they are not confident that a deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, unchanged from 15 months ago, when the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia reached an interim agreement with Iran aimed at sealing a long-term deal.

Overall, the poll finds 59 percent support an agreement in which the United States and its negotiating partners lift major economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. Thirty-one percent oppose a deal.

Support outpaces opposition across nearly all demographic and political groups, with liberals (seven in 10) and Democrats (two-thirds) the most supportive. At least six in 10 independents and moderates also back the broad idea of a deal with Iran.

Republicans are about evenly divided on an Iran deal, with 47 percent in support and 43 percent opposed. The split contrasts with Republican lawmakers’ widespread backing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech deriding the potential deal in early March before a joint meeting of lawmakers. Additionally, all but seven Republican senators signed a letter to Iran’s leadership warning that Congress or a future president could override any agreement made by the Obama administration.

Popular sentiment among Republicans is more in line with GOP lawmakers on the issue of whether Congress should be required to authorize any deal with Iran. A Pew Research Center survey released Monday found 62 percent of the public believes Congress, not President Obama, should have final authority over approving a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, and other lawmakers are building bipartisan support for a bill that would require Obama to submit an Iran agreement for congressional approval blocking the removal of sanctions on the Islamic republic for 60 days. The bill would require a veto-proof majority to force Obama’s hand.

That Pew poll shows public sentiment for a deal at 49-40 – a lot closer than the WaPo poll.  And by a 63-27 margin, the public doesn't believe that the Iranians are serious.

Polls of low-information voters hardly matter.  What's important is what Congress does now as the deadline slips away for a framework deal.  If some kind of "memorandum of progress" is agreed upon rather than a more formal understanding, it complicates matters for Congress.  Obama's goal now is to keep the talks for a final agreement next June alive, even without a framework on which to work.  Democrats may be more reluctant to sign on to a bill that undercuts the president in any way, making legislation to force the president to bring the agreement to Congress less likely to survive a veto.

Iran is helping matters by doing a 180-degree flip-flop on the question of keeping its uranium stockpile inside Iran rather than shipping it out to Russis as the president promised.  Obama and Kerry know that this is a deal-breaker with the French and probably the Germans.  So no matter what piece of paper Kerry will wave in front of the cameras, touting success, it's a hollow victory as long as Iran keeps moving the goalposts. 

Q: Thinking now about the situation with Iran - would you support or oppose an agreement in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons?

What a ridiculous question.  Only a bloodlusting, warmongering neocon would say he opposes a deal when the question is framed like that.  By 59%-31%, Americans would support such a deal, according to this Washington Post/ABC News poll.

And looking around the internet this morning, that's the headline.  Except the real news is that 60% of Americans don't trust Iran any farther than they can toss an ayatollah.

But the survey — released hours before Tuesday’s negotiating deadline — also finds few Americans are hopeful that such an agreement will be effective. Nearly six in 10 say they are not confident that a deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, unchanged from 15 months ago, when the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia reached an interim agreement with Iran aimed at sealing a long-term deal.

Overall, the poll finds 59 percent support an agreement in which the United States and its negotiating partners lift major economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. Thirty-one percent oppose a deal.

Support outpaces opposition across nearly all demographic and political groups, with liberals (seven in 10) and Democrats (two-thirds) the most supportive. At least six in 10 independents and moderates also back the broad idea of a deal with Iran.

Republicans are about evenly divided on an Iran deal, with 47 percent in support and 43 percent opposed. The split contrasts with Republican lawmakers’ widespread backing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech deriding the potential deal in early March before a joint meeting of lawmakers. Additionally, all but seven Republican senators signed a letter to Iran’s leadership warning that Congress or a future president could override any agreement made by the Obama administration.

Popular sentiment among Republicans is more in line with GOP lawmakers on the issue of whether Congress should be required to authorize any deal with Iran. A Pew Research Center survey released Monday found 62 percent of the public believes Congress, not President Obama, should have final authority over approving a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, and other lawmakers are building bipartisan support for a bill that would require Obama to submit an Iran agreement for congressional approval blocking the removal of sanctions on the Islamic republic for 60 days. The bill would require a veto-proof majority to force Obama’s hand.

That Pew poll shows public sentiment for a deal at 49-40 – a lot closer than the WaPo poll.  And by a 63-27 margin, the public doesn't believe that the Iranians are serious.

Polls of low-information voters hardly matter.  What's important is what Congress does now as the deadline slips away for a framework deal.  If some kind of "memorandum of progress" is agreed upon rather than a more formal understanding, it complicates matters for Congress.  Obama's goal now is to keep the talks for a final agreement next June alive, even without a framework on which to work.  Democrats may be more reluctant to sign on to a bill that undercuts the president in any way, making legislation to force the president to bring the agreement to Congress less likely to survive a veto.

Iran is helping matters by doing a 180-degree flip-flop on the question of keeping its uranium stockpile inside Iran rather than shipping it out to Russis as the president promised.  Obama and Kerry know that this is a deal-breaker with the French and probably the Germans.  So no matter what piece of paper Kerry will wave in front of the cameras, touting success, it's a hollow victory as long as Iran keeps moving the goalposts.