Poll: Public Support for Iran Deal Continues to Drop

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the media after closed-door nuclear talks on Iran taking place in Vienna
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the media after closed-door nuclear talks on Iran taking place in Vienna / AP

Public support for the Iranian nuclear deal continues to fall, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Wednesday.

Support for the deal has dropped in the poll from 56 percent in July to 51 percent this month. Opposition has increased by 4 points to 41 percent during the same time period.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll uses favorable language to describe the Iran deal in the survey question, claiming that under the agreement "International inspectors would monitor Iran’s facilities, and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement economic sanctions would be imposed again." These claims have been questioned by critics of the deal.

But the latest poll also included a simpler version of the same question, which omitted these favorable talking points. For this question, support for the deal was even lower at 45 percent, and opposition rose to 44 percent.

According to the Washington Post, the erosion in support indicates a larger trend:

Opinions have moved from a 2-to-1 margin in support in March (59-31 support-oppose) before the final agreement was negotiated between Iran, the United States and five other world powers. Support was lower still, 45 percent, in a separate support question which included fewer details about the agreement.

A variety of public polls have shown declining support for the deal, falling as low as 21 percent approval in a Pew Research Center poll earlier this month (with 49 percent disapproving). Much of the variation in support or opposition between different polls can be traced to how the questions have been asked. Questions that include more details about the deal have generally found more support, while questions with fewer details find less support.