Most US voters can’t find Iran on a map, survey finds
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Most US voters can’t find Iran on a map, survey finds

Poll conducted after Soleimani killing says 23% of electorate can locate Islamic Republic; still, 47% approve of airstrike on Iranian general

llustrative: demonstrators chant slogans while holding up an Iranian national flag during a pro-government rally in Tehran, Iran, November 25, 2019. (AP/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)
llustrative: demonstrators chant slogans while holding up an Iranian national flag during a pro-government rally in Tehran, Iran, November 25, 2019. (AP/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

Most US voters cannot locate Iran on a map, but nearly half support the US airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, according to a survey.

Only 23 percent of voters could correctly identify Iran on an unlabeled world map, according to the poll conducted Wednesday by the Politico news site and the Morning Consult survey company.

Twenty-eight percent identified the Islamic Republic on a map of the Middle East region, which included much of Europe, North Africa and Central Asia.

The survey was carried out on January 4 and 5, immediately after the killing of Soleimani, but before Iran’s retaliatory airstrikes and its accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner outside Tehran.

More educated and affluent voters fared better in the poll, with college-educated respondents identifying Iran 38% of the time and people with incomes over $100,000 finding it 39% of the time on the map of the Middle East region.

Men were about twice as likely as women to correctly identify Iran on that map, at 38% and 20%, respectively.

Different age groups and political parties all scored within a few percentage points of each other, with Independent voters finding Iran 31% of the time, Democrats 27% and Republicans 28%.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said that they had heard “a lot” about Soleimani’s death.

A plurality — 47% — said they were in favor of the airstrike on Soleimani, and 40% were opposed, with most Democrats in favor and most Republicans opposed. Sixty-nine percent said they thought war with Iran was more likely following the attack, and half said the US was less safe.

Support for the strike did not correlate with respondents’ ability to locate Iran on a map.

The researchers queried 1,995 registered voters and reported a margin of error of two percentage points.

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