Eighty-five percent of Utahns think there will be war in the Persian Gulf, while two-thirds favor such a war, a just-completed Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
Three-fourths of Utahns approve of the way President Bush is handling the crisis, and just a bare majority believe Congress should declare war before U.S. troops fight, pollster Dan Jones & Associates found.Utahns also think there are a number of reasons for war, Jones found. Nineteen percent said the main reason is to stop aggression in the region; 11 percent said it's to protect U.S. oil supplies, while others said it's to protect U.S. interests or to defend Saudi Arabia and Israel. Forty-four percent said war should be considered for all thosereasons, Jones found.
The move by Utahns to war is a dramatic shift from previous polls, which showed most Utahns opposed invading Kuwait to drive out the armies of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
An October poll by Jones showed 56 percent of Utahns opposed invading Kuwait, while only 37 percent were in favor of the military action.
In a poll completed just last Thursday, Jones found that 66 percent of Utahns strongly or somewhat favor U.S. troops going to war in the gulf. Thirty percent opposed going to war. Only 5 percent didn't know, Jones found in a survey of 605 Utahns. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
Jones found that 51 percent of Utahns think Congress should have to declare war before U.S. troops can invade, while 44 percent said Bush can act on his own to order troops in. Four percent didn't know.
An overwhelming 85 percent of Utahns believe there will be war in the gulf, with only 11 percent thinking peace will be achieved. It's a fairly pessimistic view, Jones said. And, overall, Utahns hold a bleak opinion of how events will unfold, he added.
Jones conducted the poll Tuesday through Thursday evenings. He found "a real jump in those in favor of war" after Wednesday's failed talks between U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz.
Utah Republicans favor war more than Democrats, Jones found, but even a majority of Democrats favor driving the Iraqis from Kuwait. Seventy-four percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats favor war.
As might be expected, those favoring war consider themselves more conservative on the political spectrum. But even those who said they're "somewhat liberal" favor war. Only those who classified themselves as very liberal oppose combat now, Jones found.
Across religious, economic and educational lines, from all geographic areas of the state, most Utahns favor war, Jones found - 75 percent of 1st Congressional District residents favor war, 60 percent of 2nd District and 3rd District citizens favor war.
Do you favor or oppose U.S. troops going to war in the Persian Gulf in an effort to drive Iraqi troops from Kuwait?
Don't know 5%
In general, do you aprove or disaprove of the way Bush is handling the Persian Gulf crisis?
Don't know 4%
In view of the january 15th deadline for removal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, at this time do you believe there will be war in the persian Gulf involving U.S. troops?
Don't know 4%