March 19, 2008

Majority of Sacramentans oppose military action against Iran
Residents also oppose long-term military
presence in Iraq and Afghanistan

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According to a recently-released Sacramento State survey, 66 percent of people in the Sacramento Region oppose sending troops to Iran to eliminate its ability to produce nuclear weapons. Even the majority of Republicans (56 percent) are against such a military action.

The survey, conducted by Sacramento State Professor Amy Liu and her students through the University’s Institute for Social Research, found that 67 percent of residents also believe it wasn’t worth going to war in Iraq, and 59 percent hope to set a timetable for troop withdrawal.

The United States initiated military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003, and in 2004, 45 percent of Sacramento Region residents indicated it was not worth going to war. By 2007, the sentiment increased to 69 percent, and the majority (65 percent) also wanted to set a timetable to remove American troops from Iraq, regardless of whether or not U.S. goals were achieved by that time.

Republicans and Democrats expressed divergent views on the Iraq war. A total of 56 percent of Republicans believe it was worth going to war, whereas only 8 percent of Democrats hold this view. And 62 percent of Republicans want to keep the troops in Iraq for as long as it takes for the U.S. to achieve its goals, while only 15 percent of Democrats share this opinion.

The United States entered into war with Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Now 51 percent of area residents feel the U.S. should not maintain a long-term military presence in Afghanistan, and only 38 percent support such a military presence.

Other findings include:

• Whites (42 percent), men (44 percent), and those with household incomes of $100,000 or more (49 percent) are more likely to think we should stay in Afghanistan for an extended length of time. Non-white residents (62 percent) are the most likely to oppose the long-term military presence in Afghanistan.

• Among registered voters, 58 percent of Republicans believe the U.S. should remain in Afghanistan, while only 30 percent of Democrats share a similar view.

• A total of 79 percent of Democrats want to set a timetable to withdraw American troops, regardless of whether U.S. goals are achieved by that time

• In 2004, 80 percent of Republicans surveyed favored going to war; in 2008, the percentage declined to 56 percent of Republicans in favor.

The survey was a computer-assisted telephone survey of 1,200 randomly selected adults from Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.

The full report is available at www.csus.edu/news/. More information is available by contact Liu at amyliuus@yahoo.com or (916) 278-7572. For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.