American Voters and the Drone War

Americans are fine with drone strikes abroad but express ambivalence about killing other U.S. citizens, Jamelle Bouie blogs at the American Prospect.

President Obama and secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel (Getty Images)

American Prospect blogger Jamelle Bouie checks in on a survey that shows Americans are fine with drone strikes abroad but express ambivalence about killing other U.S. citizens.

It's a near certainty that President Obama will continue his drone war, including targeted strikes against American citizens. Why? Because, at the moment, there's not much of a political price to pursuing the strategy. To wit, today's survey from CBS News is just the latest in a list of polls that show wide support for drone strikes, and smaller -- but still significant -- support for strikes against American citizens. Overall, 57 percent of Americans approve of how President Obama has handled terrorism, as opposed to the 31 percent that disapprove. Seventy-one percent favor drone attacks against suspected terrorists, with overwhelming support from all partisan groups:

The picture is different when it comes to killing Americans suspected of terrorism. There, the broad public is ambivalent -- just a plurality of Democrats and independents support the policy. Republican support -- reflecting the party's aggressive approach to foreign policy -- is still strong, though substantially smaller than support for the general policy of drone strikes.

Read Jamelle Bouie's entire article at the American Prospect.

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