The more that the American people get a chance to look at the nuclear deal with Iran, the less they like it. Prior to the announcement of a deal (and the details of its commitments), public opinion favored a deal while remaining skeptical that it would stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. A week after the deal, a Pew poll showed a plurality opposed, 38/48; two weeks out, a CNN poll showed a majority opposed at 44/52.
A new Quinnipiac poll shows a stronger majority opposed, but the worst aspect for the Obama administration is the collapse in support. Only 28% now support the deal, with twice as many opposed:
American voters oppose 57 – 28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition for Republicans and independent voters, the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
Voters say 58 – 30 percent the nuclear pact will make the world less safe, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.
Opposing the Iran deal are Republicans 86 – 3 percent and independent voters 55 – 29 percent, while Democrats support it 52 – 32 percent. There is little gender gap as men oppose the deal 59 – 30 percent and women oppose it 56 – 27 percent.
These results are even more significant because of the way the question is asked. The question attempts no explanation or context, but simply asks, “Do you support or oppose the nuclear deal with Iran?” The follow-up question makes it clear that people have a strong basis for that opposition, as they do not see the deal making the world safer, but less safe. That eliminates the pre-announcement polling contradiction, in which the public supported a deal in principle but remained skeptical that it would work. Now that they’ve seen the deal, support for it is evaporating rapidly.
The Quinnipiac report covers the limited demographic detail in the poll, but it’s worth noting that both questions and almost all of the demos for them do have double-digit responses for Don’t Know/Not Applicable. That’s different than the CNN poll, where most had a solid opinion. If there is any continuity between them, it might suggest that former soft supporters are transitioning to opposition. That seems to be the general direction of all polling over the last couple of months.
The rest of the polling pertaining to the White House looks just as poor. Barack Obama only gets a 43/52 overall job approval, his worst showing since March. The national direction number is 27/73, the worst in almost a year. Obama gets a 44/53 on the economy (lowest in a year), 39/55 on foreign policy, and 35/56 on Iran (lowest ever). And on Iran policy, Obama only carries 67% of Democrats — the worst of all the issue ratings.
It’s a bad deal, and it’s not selling. That’s why the Obama administration knew it wouldn’t fly as a treaty. John Kerry admitted as much last week in an exchange with Rep. Reid Ribble that didn’t get as much notice as it should. Wisconsin radio show host Jerry Bader wrote about it at Right Wisconsin:
It doesn’t happen often, but on occasion liberals say something we all know they’re thinking but are usually smart enough not to say out loud. During questioning from Wisconsin 8th CD Congressman Reid Ribble this week at a hearing on the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry had such a moment. Ribble asked Kerry why the deal with Iran wasn’t in treaty form. To anyone paying attention, Kerry’s answer should have been a stunner:
Congressman Ribble: “Thank you, Secretary Kerry, earlier in the hearing today you said that if the Congress rejects the deal, countries in the future will not trust negotiating with the U.S. State Department because they are now negotiating with 535 individual Members of Congress. For 228 years, the Constitution provided a way out of that mess by allowing treaties with the advice and consent of 67 US Senators. Why is this not considered a treaty?
Secretary Kerry: “Well Congressman, I spent quite a few years trying to get a lot of treaties through the United States Senate, and frankly it’s become physically impossible. That’s why. Because you can’t pass a treaty anymore and it’s become impossible to you know schedule, it’s become impossible to pass, and I sat there leading the charge on the Disabilities Treaty which fell to, basically, ideology and politics. Sir, I think that’s the reason why.”
As Ribble put it in a news release: Kerry admitted this matter should have been presented to the Senate as a treaty to be ratified but wasn’t because the administration knew the votes weren’t there.
Congress ended up obliging by crafting a crude bypass of the Senate’s treaty ratification authority, but the administration never planned on submitting this as a treaty at all anyway. Their philosophy seems to be that they don’t need to adhere to the Constitution when the legislative branch doesn’t act as a rubber stamp. Small wonder fewer and fewer people trust them on this deal with Iran … and in general.