Nearly Half of Republicans Back Strike on North Korea
A new poll puts Republican support for a preemptive strike at 46%
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2017 12:45 PM CDT
   (Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – Even as Bob Corker, one of the most prominent members of the Republican caucus in the Senate, continues to sound the alarm about President Trump's rhetoric about North Korea, a new poll says nearly half of his party's voters support a preemptive strike against the country. In a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, 46% of Republican voters say they support attacking North Korea, while 41% are opposed to a preemptive strike, the Washington Post reports. Those numbers come after months of amped-up rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Pyongyang's nuclear testing. During a speech at the United Nations last month, Trump said the US would have no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea "if it is forced to defend itself or its allies."

In general, American voters oppose a preemptive strike 62% to 26%. In addition, a large majority of the country doesn't trust Trump to handle the situation with North Korea at all, Newsweek reports. Rather, voters say, by a margin of 65% to 28%, that they have confidence in "top national security and diplomatic officials" to handle the situation. "Voters don't have confidence in President Donald Trump to handle North Korea, but they're hoping other members of the Trump team will step up," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, says.

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