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What Americans Really Think About ISIS

Do Americans favor airstrikes? Ground troops? Will we ever get out of Iraq? We posed all these questions and more to Americans in Venice, CA as part of our Reason-Rupe poll. “There seems to be a sort of collective amnesia problem regarding the Iraq War,” says Reason Foundation polling director Emily Ekins. Ekins is referring to a question contained in the October 2014 Reason-Rupe poll, which found that 51 percent of Americans recall opposing the Iraq invasion in 2003. In reality, Pew put that number at 72 percent at the time of the invasion. Ekins says its fairly common to find such discrepancies in public opinion polling. People tend to want to say they supported the winner and opposed the loser. “And this tells us something about how Americans view the Iraq War,” says Ekins. Reason TV questioned a handful of passersby in Venice, California to illustrate some the American attitudes towards the most current military intervention against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Here are some key findings from the October poll: Air strikes are popular. 66 percent of Americans favor airstrikes to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This was a fairly consistent finding across age groups and partisans, with one glaring exception: Young people. 51 percent of respondents younger than 30 oppose airstrikes. Ground troops are unpopular. Most Americans oppose sending ground troops to combat ISIS. Only 43 percent favor John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s preferred solution.

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