American Support For Airstrikes In Iraq Solidifies

American support for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq has solidified in recent weeks, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows. But the survey shows continued wariness about additional involvement to quell the insurgency there.

According to the poll, 66 percent of Americans now favor the decision to conduct airstrikes in Iraq, while only 20 percent oppose it. In a HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted earlier in August, just after President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would begin conducting airstrikes, 58 percent of respondents said they favored it and 24 percent said they opposed that action.

In the latest poll, which was conducted after American journalist James Foley was beheaded by the Islamic State, the insurgent group operating in Iraq and Syria, 75 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans said they support the decision to conduct airstrikes.

But Americans continue to oppose sending ground troops to Iraq, by a 56 percent to 20 percent margin. Sixty-three percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents and a 41 percent to 31 percent plurality of Republicans said they oppose sending ground troops.

Americans overall were more divided about the possibility of sending troops in an advisory role, with 37 percent in favor and 38 percent opposed to sending troops to assist Iraqi units. Twenty-five percent said they weren't sure.

Obama promised in a speech Tuesday not to send additional troops to Iraq, but he warned of an extended fight against the Islamic State, saying it "won't be easy and it won't be quick."

Americans in the new poll are divided over Obama's handling of the situation in Iraq, with 40 percent saying they approve of the job he's doing and 41 percent saying they disapprove.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Aug. 20-22 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.

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