A Monmouth University Poll taken as the Iran nuclear talks dragged on over the weekend, but before the final agreement was announced, found that nearly half of the American public supports the idea of trying to negotiate a deal to rein in that country’s nuclear capabilities. At the same time, few actually believe that Iran will live up to the terms of any such agreement.
About 3-in-4 Americans are aware that the U.S. has been negotiating with Iran to curb that country’s nuclear program – 33% have heard a lot and 41% have heard a little. The talks in Vienna have now dragged on for more than two weeks. The poll found that nearly half (49%) of Americans feel that trying to work out a deal with Iran is a good idea, while 36% say it is a bad idea. Another 4% say it is both good and bad and 11% are unsure. Most Democrats (61%) say that talking with Iran on this issue is a good idea while most Republicans (55%) say it is a bad one. A plurality of independents (49%) feel the negotiations are a good idea.
Despite the feeling that getting Iran to the table has been a positive move, very few Americans expect that the Tehran government will live up to any nuclear agreement. A majority of 55% say they would not trust Iran at all to abide by terms that would dismantle its nuclear program and allow independent inspections. Just 35% would trust Iran a little and only 5% would have a lot of trust in Iran to abide by the terms of any agreement. This level of trust is similar to a Monmouth poll taken in January when 59% expressed no trust, 34% a little, and just 4% a lot.
“The pact with Iran faces an uncertain future in Congress. A major sticking point with the American public is a sense that Tehran really can’t be trusted to keep its part of the bargain,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
The Monmouth University Poll also found that Pres. Barack Obama’s job rating with the American public is now a narrowly positive 47% approve to 46% disapprove. This marks a slight improvement from the 44% approve to 46% disapprove rating he held in June. Currently, 80% of Democrats approve of the president’s job performance and an identical 80% of Republicans disapprove. Independents give Obama a slightly negative split at 42% approve and 48% disapprove.
Congress continues to earn a negative 18% approve to 69% disapprove job rating, virtually unchanged from prior polls. Currently, just 28% of Americans feel the country is heading in the right direction while 63% say it is on the wrong track, which is similar to the public mood measured in polls taken over the past few months.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from July 9 to 12, 2015 with 1,001 adults in the United States. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.1 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch.