IN NEW POLL, AMERICANS SOUNDLY REJECT TRUMP’S ‘FIRE AND FURY;’ BACK DIPLOMACY WITH NORTH KOREA

WASHINGTON, DC – While Donald Trump continues to ratchet up rhetoric when it comes to North Korea, Americans overwhelmingly agree, across party lines, that we need more diplomacy and less bluster, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, commissioned by VoteVets.  Further, Americans disapprove of how Trump is handling the crisis, and say they would not trust intelligence he presents to make a case for war.  A majority of Americans, including a plurality of Republicans, say war is more likely under Trump than it would have been if Hillary Clinton had been elected.

 

A memo with an overview of the findings can be read here: http://action.votevets.org/NKPollMemo

 

The full poll findings are available here: http://action.votevets.org/NKPoll

 

Some key findings:

 

- Americans are paying close attention to the news surrounding North Korea – 63% say they are paying “a lot of attention.” 79% think we’re either “very close” or “somewhat close” to going to war with North Korea. 82% are “very fearful” or “somewhat fearful” that if the US struck North Korea militarily, the North Koreans would respond by launching nuclear weapons at the US. 

 

- A plurality of voters – 43% - say that they oppose the use of ground troops to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Instead, fully 75% of voters (and 68% of Republicans) want to exhaust all diplomatic means to avoid a war, and 86% (80% of Republicans) say that direct talks with North Korea should be tried before taking any military action. A majority of 57% also say that the US should not engage in preemptive military action towards North Korea if South Korea opposes it. 

 

- 53% of voters disapprove of President Trump’s job performance generally compared to just 40% who do approve. When it comes to North Korea, only 41% approve of Trump’s handling of the situation compared to 46% who disapprove. 

 

- 53% of voters (including a plurality of 42 percent of Republicans) say we’re more likely to go to war with Donald Trump as President compared to if Hillary Clinton was President, compared to just 24% who say we’re less likely. And voters say they would not trust intelligence from the Trump Administration that would be used to make a case for military action – 41% of voters say they wouldn’t believe the intelligence “at all” and only 21% say they’d believe it “a great amount.” 

 

- On other big matters of the day, voters say that Congress would be right to consider impeachment if Trump fired investigator Robert Mueller and pardoned conspirators by a 56-34 margin, with even 27% of Republicans agreeing. Voters also oppose Trump’s ban on transgender members of the military by a 69-22 margin, with a plurality of Republicans agreeing (48-39). 

 

Retired General Wesley Clark, Chairman of VoteVets Advisory Board said, "Common sense says we should maintain and strengthen our deterrent, and deliver our warnings in private, and in person. Escalating rhetoric in a crisis can lead to tragic miscalculations. And the American people recognize this."

 

Will Fischer, Iraq War Veteran and Director of Government Relations for VoteVets said, “These findings make it abundantly clear – Donald Trump is not where the American people are, when it comes to North Korea.  People want less bluster, and more constructive diplomacy, even direct talks.  Americans are absolutely unwilling to go it alone, without the support of the South Korean government, and, even then, have very little appetite for the kind of military operation it would take to wipe out North Korea’s nuclear program.  Members of Congress need to take note. On this crisis, at this moment, you can be with the American people, or you can be with Donald Trump. You cannot be with both.”

 

Founded in 2006, and backed by over 500,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America. 

 

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