CNN Poll: Majority say invoke War Powers Act
May 31st, 2011
01:26 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Majority say invoke War Powers Act

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's overseas trip is done, but a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll indicates domestic debate over some hot-button international policy issues, including Libya and the Middle East, rages on.

Full results (pdf)

On Libya, some members of Congress want to invoke the War Powers Act, and according to the survey, a majority of Americans appear to agree. Fifty-five percent of people questioned in the poll, which was released Tuesday, believe that Congress, not the president, should have the final authority for deciding whether the U.S. should continue its military mission in Libya.

"That's a common reaction from the American public," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Although Congress as an institution is held in fairly low regard, over the past two decades Americans have typically told pollsters that Congress should be the branch of government to make these kinds of decisions - from Iraq to Haiti to Kosovo to Somalia, and regardless of the president's party."

But support for Congress having the final say on Libya doesn't mean the public opposes Obama's policy. Fifty-four percent support limited use of military force by the United States in Libya as part of a NATO mission to enforce U.N. resolutions. That's the wording of a resolution now making its way through Congress.

Turning to the situation in the Middle East, the survey indicates that two-thirds of Americans say their sympathies are more with the Israelis than the Palestinians. But two-thirds also say that the U.S. should not take either side in that conflict; about a third want the U.S. to take the Israelis' side. Two-thirds also have a favorable view of Israel; with 44 percent viewing Israel as an ally of the U.S. and another 38 percent saying that Israel is friendly toward the U.S. but not an ally.

According to the poll, half of the public says that Iran and North Korea are enemies of the U.S. Only 11 percent feel that China is an enemy while more than six in ten believe that China is an ally or is friendly toward the U.S.

"The 'special relationship' between the U.S. and Great Britain remains strong, no doubt bolstered by a series of speeches and state dinners while Obama was in London last week," adds Holland. "Nearly nine in ten Americans have a favorable view of Britain, with two-thirds saying Britain is an ally of the U.S. and virtually all the rest say that Britain is a friendly country."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted May 24-26, with 1,007 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Libya • Middle East • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    For crying out loud, read 'em together: the majority want Congress to get on the ball, provide the authorization under the War Powers Act and allow Obama to continue our limited involvement in Libya based on his policy. The GOP doesn't care...they'd rather try to find a way to turn it to political advantage than do anything without first considering how their party might profit from it, even if it requires making a complete mess...after all, they'll just opint fingers at Obama and the Dems and their mindless base will go along with it.

    May 31, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Bob in PA

    Obama over stepped his bounds on this one. The response was far and above what was deserved. Libya is in shambles now all thanks to BO. Yet he has still done nothing to help people in Africa that truely needed recue. This man is such a liar and needs to go I can't wait to see him try to pull this stick on Israel and watch what happens when the Military refuses to back him up..

    May 31, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Sadly, the weasels on both sides of the isle care more about political posturing than taking actions to benefit America. For this reason they can never really be trusted to make solid decisions, especially those decisions requiring political risks. The Senate is nothing more than a forum for the Republicans to obstruct every action, even those they support. The House is a childish group of radicals incapable of any meaningful compromise, choosing instead to offer a series of political statements of no real value to Americans. Why trust the Congress? Look at their record of no accomplishments!

    May 31, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Erik

    People can think what they want, but that's not what the constitution says. There's a process for changing the constitution, if the people's representatives choose to try it.

    May 31, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Obama played Libya correctly. Obama/Biden 2012

    May 31, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. California Conservative

    Obama has managed to over step his authority on many other issues also.

    He's clearly abusing the presidency on many levels.

    May 31, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. XWngLady

    I don't think that anyone is disputing that Congress should have the final say, but they shouldn't be playing politics with it either. Authorize it and lets get on with it.

    May 31, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Republican Robber Baron

    Who cares? Obama is doing the Libya operation at bargin basement costs and with a ton of help from our NATO allies.
    We don't even have one boot on the ground so it is a moot point.

    May 31, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. gt

    news about this poll...most americans say get your troops home now... were tired of wasted lives and money for people who dont care one bit for us...

    May 31, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. EddyL

    So where were all these people when Bush dragged us into unending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    May 31, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    The problem with the War Powers Act is that has turned into a political football to handcuff the party in the White House by denying the Commander-In-Chief the flexibility to act in the nation's best interests. Rarely do the interests of one political party or the other coincide with the nation's best interests.

    May 31, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. obama victim

    Barry thinks he's King..............really is the court jester

    May 31, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. jerry

    Yes, it is about time we clipped the wings of BO and company..his over reach is outrageous.

    May 31, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. ja

    who did the polls ask the folk in iowa

    May 31, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |