Utahns strongly support President Bush's actions in the Persian Gulf; they think U.S. troops should be in Saudi Arabia, but they don't want American troops crossing into Kuwait to fight Iraqis, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV Poll shows.
Pollster Dan Jones & Associates found most Utahns believe that American troops should fight back with conventional weapons if they are attacked.However, a fifth of those questioned said the United States should use nuclear weapons, if those weapons are needed to win a Persian Gulf war, he found.
The poll was taken in early September, just after Bush ordered U.S. troops into Saudi Arabia to thwart any attempt by Iraq's Saddam Hussein to take over that gulf country also.
Asked if they supported Bush's actions in the gulf crisis, 80 percent of Utahns said they agreed with the president. Only 15 percent disagreed and 5 percent didn't know.
Eighty-two percent agreed that U.S. troops should be sent to Saudi Arabia, Jones found. Fifteen percent disagreed and 3 percent didn't know.
The support for military action ends there, however.
Fifty-two percent said U.S. troops shouldn't cross over into Kuwait in an attempt to force Iraqi troops out of the small, oil-rich country that Saddam invaded and has now annexed.
Thirty-seven percent said U.S. troops should invade Kuwait and engage Iraqi troops, while 12 percent didn't know.
Finally, Jones asked how U.S. troops should respond if Saddam attacks U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia.
Fifty-eight percent said they should fight back with conventional military weapons; 21 percent said we should use nuclear weapons if they're necessary to win the war; 12 percent said American forces should resist where possible but withdraw if outnumbered; 3 percent said we should use chemical weapons; and 7 percent didn't know.
Do you agree or disagree that U.S. troops should cross into Kuwait and attempt to force Iraqi troops from the country?
Somewhat agree 20%
Strongly agree 17%
Somewhat disagree 27%
Strongly disagree 25%
Don't know 12%
Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the Mideast crisis?
Strongly approve 42%
Somewhat approve 38%
Somewhat disapprove 9%
Strongly disapprove 6%
Don't know 5%
Do you agree or disagree with sending U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia?
Strongly agree 48%
Somewhat agree 34%
Somewhat disagree 9%
Strongly disagree 6%
Don't know 3%
Sample size: 900; margin of error plus or minus 3.2%