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Politics

Support For Libya Intervention Is Waning

March 30, 2011

A plurality of voters -- and a majority of independent voters -- thinks the U.S. military should not be involved in Libya right now, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday that also shows President Obama with his lowest-ever approval rating and re-elect score.

Just 41 percent of American voters say the U.S. is doing the right thing by using military force in Libya right now, while 47 percent believe that the U.S. should not be involved in the North African nation. Among independents, that support slips to 38 percent, with 51 percent saying the U.S. should not be involved.

The percentage of independents who say the U.S. is doing the right thing in Libya is lower than the percentage of Democrats (48 percent) or Republicans (40 percent) who approve of the use military force, echoing the results of two other surveys released over the last week that also showed support for the Libya mission lagging among independents.

A Pew Research Center poll of all adults, conducted last Thursday to Sunday, showed a plurality (47 percent) believed the U.S. and its allies made the right decision to use military force in Libya. But only 44 percent of independents agreed, trailing Democrats (49 percent) and Republicans (54 percent).

A CBS News poll, conducted over the first two days of air strikes (March 20-21), showed stronger support for allied intervention, but independents still lagged behind members of either party.

The lack of support among independents is a cautionary sign for the Obama administration -- particularly if the military remains involved in Libya indefinitely. While they are less likely to support the mission in Libya, independents are also more likely to vote for a generic Republican over Obama (32 to 28 percent) in the Quinnipiac survey, and a majority (52 percent) believes Obama does not deserve re-election.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted March 22-28; the vast majority of interviews were conducted before Obama's address to the nation Monday night. Quinnipiac surveyed 2,069 voters, for a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percent.

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