Poll: Americans Back Iran Deal, Don't Want Congress To Crush It

04/10/2015 08:27 am ET | Updated Apr 10, 2015
Win McNamee via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Americans mostly approve of the outline of the Iran nuclear deal and don't want Congress to block it, according to a poll released Friday.

The survey by Hart Research on behalf of the Democratically aligned Americans United for Change found that 61 percent of the country favor the deal, while 34 percent oppose it.

And perhaps more importantly, 65 percent of voters don't want Congress to block the deal, compared with 30 percent who do.

The poll, done this week of 806 voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

It also reveals a partisan divide on the issue, with Republican voters being the only ones who oppose the deal -- 52 to 41 percent -- and who are split on whether Congress should interfere, with 48 percent saying to block it and 47 percent wanting the lawmakers to let it advance.

For its questions, the survey largely adopts the descriptions of the United States government, although Iranians have characterized some points differently.

Still, in a measure of the strength of the opinions, 57 percent of respondents said they agreed with supporters of the deal and 38 percent said they agreed with opponents when the positions were cast like this:

Opponents of the agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program say it is not strong enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons because it only scales back Iran's nuclear program rather than ending it, and because the deal is not permanent. These opponents say Congress should take action to block the agreement, and say that Congress should instead impose more economic sanctions until Iran makes more concessions on its nuclear program.

Supporters of the agreement say it is the best and most realistic way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The deal will make the United States and its allies safer because it cuts off Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons. The only real alternative to this agreement would be military action and American involvement in another Middle Eastern war. These supporters say that Congress should allow the agreement to go forward and then closely monitor its implementation.

Having heard both sides, who do you agree with more--the opponents who say the agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program is not strong enough and Congress should block it, or the supporters who say the agreement is the best and most realistic way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?

The partisan divide is also significant, since the Republican-led Congress is set to begin debating a measure next week that would require quick congressional review of the agreement before it could proceed, something critics say would undermine the deal. The measure has several key Democratic supporters, although the survey found that 82 percent of Democrats do not want Congress to get in the way.

The backers of the survey plan to release the full results later Friday.

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