Republicans Evenly Split on Iran Deal

The party elites may hate the agreement, but rank-and-file Republicans aren't sure.


"He says, 'Stay out of Iran.' I like that!"
The Rand Paul Store

The conventional wisdom about Rand Paul and foreign policy is that his relatively dovish instincts have put him out of step with Republican voters. And on many issues that's probably true—hence his reversals on ISIS and Pentagon spending.

But don't overstate it. Here's how the Republican in the street feels about the week's chief foreign policy debate, according to Reuters:

Thirty-one percent of U.S. Republicans favor a new nuclear deal with Iran, creating a challenge for their party's lawmakers who largely oppose the framework accord sealed between Tehran and world powers, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday.

Another 30 percent of Republicans oppose the pact, while 40 percent are not sure, according to the poll, which revealed a sharp split in the party as its leaders ramp up opposition to the deal championed by President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

That's right: Nearly half haven't made up their minds yet, and the ones with an opinion are basically split evenly, with slightly more favoring the agreement. With every other contender seeking a share of the hawks' vote, there just might be an opening here for a candidate capable of speaking out forcefully against the saber-rattlers. If he's willing to take the opportunity.