September U.S. National Registered Voter Survey on Iran Nuclear Deal


On behalf of The Israel Project, Olive Tree Strategies is pleased to present the key findings of its most recent national survey.


The survey was conducted September 2-5, 2015 of a representative sample of 2,300 adult registered voters (margin of error: 2.0%). The respondents were recruited by Survey Sampling International from its larger probability-based national panel. Responses were weighted by census division, gender, age, education, income, race, and 2012 President Obama support.


Key Findings:

As the only poll to have consistent question language testing opinions toward the nuclear deal with Iran from the start of final stage negotiations in Vienna, The Israel Project and Olive Tree Strategies has found steadily rising opposition to the deal.

  1. President Obama’s lowest job rating comes on the nuclear negotiations with Iran. In December of 2014 only 40% of voters disapproved of the President’s performance on this issue, today the number has grown to 58% of the electorate disapproving. This is his worst rating across nine different issue areas, and significantly higher than his 53% disapproval overall.

  3. Voters are opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran. By a margin of -13 voters disapprove of the nuclear deal with Iran (36% Approve / 49% Disapprove), a complete reversal from the beginning of the talks in Vienna when there was mild approval of +13. The change in opinion has been steady, and implies that the more voters hear about and learn about the deal the less they like it.


    Recently, the United States and five other countries (known as the P5+1) reached an agreement with Iran regarding the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for concessions in Iran’s nuclear program. Based on what you know, do you approve or disapprove of this agreement?


    Fully three-quarters of voters who consider “security issues” to be their top voting priority disapprove of the deal. Indicating that supporters have other voting priorities and will not “reward” this deal at the ballot box.

    Disapprovers include 24% of Democrats, 51% of Independents, and 74% of Republicans.


    Seniors emphatically oppose the deal (30% / 63%), while under-45s are far more divided (44% / 36%). Among those ages 45-64, there is also significant disapproval (30% / 55%).


    A strong majority (58%) of those with a current or former military member in the household disapprove of the deal.

    A majority (50%) of those undecided about which party to support in the 2016 Presidential election disapprove of the deal, only 29% support.


    Intensity against the deal has doubled in the past three months from 16% Strongly Disapprove on June 5th to 31% Strongly Disapprove today. But, pro-deal intensity has not moved at all (from 10% three months ago to 9% today).


  5. The American electorate is paying attention to the deal. Overall, 77% of voters have heard a lot or some about the deal, 31% have heard a lot.

  7. Even more telling, 58% of voters say that the deal is “not tough enough.” This includes pluralities across age groups, genders, and ethnicities.


    Even one-quarter (26%) of those who approve of the deal express the frustration that it is not tough enough.


  9. A majority (56%) say that a filibuster should be avoided, and that the full Senate should be allowed to vote. More importantly, supporters of the deal are more likely to oppose the filibuster (74%) than opponents of the deal (52%), implying that this move is perceived as delegitimizing the deal. In fact, fully one-third (32%) of deal opponents call for a filibuster.

    (Note: over 95% of interviewing was completed AFTER Senator Barbara Mikulski announced her support for the deal on September 2, seemingly guaranteeing the President a win on a veto override vote.)


  11. A plurality of voters perceive the insinuation that “elected officials who are both Jewish and oppose the nuclear deal with Iran, are opposed because they are loyal to Israel rather than their responsibilities to the United States” constitutes anti-Semitism. This includes a plurality across both partisanship and ideology.

  13. As the final question about Iran in the survey, respondents were asked to evaluate the deal in light of the Associated Press revelations regarding the Iranians taking a role in the inspections at Parchin – 66% disapprove of the deal in light of this single fact. Majorities across gender, age, partisan, and ideological groups now disapprove of the deal. This further cements the finding that as voters are exposed to more information about the deal, opinions continue to move against the President on this issue.

    Bottom Line:

    American voters are opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran. This opposition has been steadily growing for three months as more and more is learned. While there was some mild approval for the initial framework agreement negotiated in Lausanne, the final deal has not lived up to those expectations for voters.




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