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About one-third of Republican voters back nuclear deal with Iran

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Thirty-one percent of Republicans favor a new nuclear deal with Iran, creating a challenge for their party’s lawmakers who largely oppose the framework accord sealed between Tehran and world powers, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday.

Another 30 percent of Republicans oppose the pact, while 40 percent are not sure, according to the poll, which revealed a sharp split in the party as its leaders ramp up opposition to the deal championed by President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

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The White House has launched a broad effort to convince U.S. lawmakers and other critics to embrace the framework agreement reached last week between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Many details remain to be worked out for a final deal to be completed by the end of June. Public support will be critical to the White House effort to sway skeptical members of the Republican-controlled Congress, many of whom see the deal as a dangerous concession to a country that sponsors terrorism.

The nuclear deal foresees lifting U.S. and international economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for compliance with restrictions on its nuclear program.

The poll showed Obama has some selling to do among members of his own party, too. Though 50 percent of Democrats supported it, 10 percent were opposed and 39 percent were not sure.

Among independents — an important constituency group for both parties ahead of the 2016 presidential election — 33 percent voiced support, 21 percent registered opposition, and 45 percent said they were unsure about the deal.

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People from both parties diverged substantially in their views of a U.S. rapprochement with Iran.

Sixty percent of Republicans said the United States should hold a hard line with its longtime foe and maintain or expand current sanctions, compared with 23 percent of Democrats who said the same.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of Democrats said Washington was right to improve diplomatic relations with Tehran, compared with 18 percent of Republicans.

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The poll showed little support among members of both parties for using military force as a sole method for preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. Five percent of Democrats supported such an option, along with 11 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of independents.

Support for the combined use of diplomatic channels along with military force was higher, however. Fifty percent of Republicans favored that combination, along with 35 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of independents.

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The Reuters/Ipsos online poll surveyed 2,291 American adults between April 3 and April 7, after the Iran deal was announced. Among those polled were 893 Democrats, 803 Republicans and 320 independents.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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Chuck Schumer wants John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney to testify at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants top administration officials to testify in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the United States Senate.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass articles of impeachment on Wednesday, setting up a Senate trial in the new year.

"In a letter sent on Sunday evening to McConnell, the majority leader, Schumer says Senate Democrats want to hear testimony from four administration witnesses, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton," Politico reported. "There is almost no chance Senate Republicans would vote to subpoena those witnesses without assent from the White House and calling their own preferred witnesses."

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Supreme Court timeline on Trump’s taxes gives time for Manhattan prosecutors to file charges: Former US Attorney

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Former U.S. Attorney Mimi Rocah tweeted a recent report that the U.S. Supreme Court would be taking up President Donald Trump's case to keep his taxes away from investigators.

That case between Trump and Congress invokes a 1924 law that says the Ways and Means Committee has the authority to seek tax returns. Rocah mocked the president for being "so shady, so corrupt, so unlawful, that you’re willing to fight the release of your tax returns all the way to the Supreme Court."

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Trump has spent 50 years trying to live up to his father — now his presidency will forever be stained: MSNBC panelist

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Rev. Al Sharpton said during his MSNBC show Sunday that the legacy of impeachment will forever be a stain on President Donald Trump's presidency. While a Democratic strategist pointed to Trump's history of always falling short.

"The fact is I've known Donald Trump for 35 years," Sharpton said during a panel discussion. "Marched on him after the Central Park Five. Had other times he would try to be a Democrat, would come to our National Action Network conventions. One of the things that is core to him is that he's always fought for legitimacy. He was never looked at as a peer by the legitimate business community in New York and around the country. Now for him to be impeached, even if he's not convicted and removed, it gives him the imprimatur from here out that he's illegitimate. There will always be the asterisk on his name that schoolchildren will read. Is this the reason we're seeing 170-some-odd tweets from Mr. Trump that he is feeling at the core that his legitimacy as a president will be permanently stained?"

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