As thousands of American service members prepare for the worst in the Middle East following an American drone strike that killed Iran’s second-most powerful man, just 23% of registered voters can identify the Islamic republic on an unlabeled map of the globe, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey.
When shown an unlabeled map of just the Middle East, the number rose to a still-abysmal 28%. Eight percent of those thought Iran was Iraq on the second map – just like Joe Biden.
Of those surveyed, men were around twice as likely as women to identify Iran on both maps – roughly in line with a 2017 Morning Consult experiment involving North Korea. Wealthier and more educated voters were also more likely to get it right.
Political affiliation and age were not significant factors.
News of Soleimani’s death — which 49 percent of voters reported hearing “a lot” about — brought new attention to U.S. policy in the Middle East, with high-profile Democrats questioning whether there was a strategy behind the attack at Baghdad International Airport ordered by President Donald Trump.
Voters were more likely to support (47 percent) the airstrike that killed Soleimani than oppose it (40 percent). Attitudes on Trump’s call fell neatly along partisan lines: 70 percent of Democrats disapproved of the strike while 85 percent of Republicans approved of it, including 61 percent of Republicans who strongly approved. –Morning Consult
Meanwhile, despite a majority of respondents backing the strike, 69% said they thought the Soleimani assassination made war with Iran more likely, and half said they think it made America less safe.
The survey, conducted Jan. 4-5 before Iran shelled two Iraq air bases housing US troops, was asked of 1,995 registered voters and has a margin of error of two percentage points.