Afghanistan Study Group – Survey Results of Conservatives
The following is an analysis of a poll taken of conservative voters nationwide. Drawn from a sample of randomly selected phone numbers, this poll contains 1,000 registered voters who describe their political ideology as conservative. Voters with listed landline phones, unlisted landline phones, and cellular phones were eligible to be called. Respondents were interviewed from 5:00 to 9:00 in their time zone from January 4th through 10th. The responses to this survey should be within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points of those that would have been obtained from interviewing the entire population of registered conservative voters. 550 respondents describe themselves as a “Tea Party Supporter”. The margin of error for this group is 4.2 percentage points. The following summarizes key results from the survey:
- Conservatives and Tea Party supporters are worried about the costs of the war in Afghanistan. 71% of conservatives overall, and 67% of conservative Tea Party supporters, indicate worry that the costs will make it more difficult for the United States to reduce the deficit this year and balance the federal budget by the end of this decade. Significant percentages of conservative men (67%) and women (75%) indicate concern about the costs of the war as do conservatives in all age groups. Those in active duty military or veteran households are as worried about the costs of the war (69%) as those in non-military households (72%). 61% of conservatives who believe the war has been worth fighting are worried about the current level of costs.
- Two-thirds of conservatives support a reduction in troop levels in Afghanistan. When given a choice between three options, 66% believe we can either reduce the troop levels in Afghanistan, but continue to fight the war effectively (39%) or think we should leave Afghanistan all together, as soon as possible (27%). Just 24% of conservatives believe we should continue to provide the current level of troops to properly execute the war. 64% of Tea Party supporters think we should either reduce troop levels (37%) or leave Afghanistan (27%) while 28% support maintaining current troop levels. Among conservatives who don’t identify with the Tea Party movement, 70% want a reduction (43%) or elimination (27%) of troops while only 18% favoring continuation of the current level.
- A majority of conservatives agree that the United States can dramatically lower the number of troops and money spent in Afghanistan without putting America at risk. 57% say they agree with that statement after hearing about the current number of troops in country and the funding needed to support them. Only a third (34%) do not agree with this statement. Among Tea Party supports 55% agree that we can reduce the number of troops without compromising security while 38% disagree. Among non Tea Party conservatives, 60% agree with this statement while 27% disagree.
- More conservatives believe the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting (46%) than not worth fighting (39%). Among those who believe the war has been worth fighting, as many support reducing troop levels (43%) as favor maintaining the current level (44%). Just 5% of these conservatives support leaving as soon as possible. Those who do not believe the war has been worth fighting overwhelming support reducing the level of troops (31%) or getting out altogether (60%) with only 5% supporting the current troop level. While Tea Party supporters overall are more likely to believe the war has been worth fighting (51% worth it, 38% not worth it) than other conservatives (41% worth it, 43% not worth it), those who strongly identify with the Tea Party movement are split (42% worth it, 45% not worth it).
AFGHANISTAN STUDY GROUP – Matthew Hoh & Steve Clemons
Prepared by: Stephen Clermont/Third Eye Strategies