Poll shows huge support for Rand Paul’s filibuster stance on drone attacks

March 25, 2013

When Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) filibustered for nearly 13 hours two weeks ago, he had the American people on his side.


A new Gallup poll shows a huge majority of Americans -- 79 percent -- supported Paul's position that drone strikes should not be used on American soil against Americans suspected of terrorism. Just 13 percent say it would be okay.

Americans also don't support drone strikes against any suspected terrorist on American soil (25 percent support, 66 percent oppose) or against U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism abroad (41 percent support, 52 percent support).

In fact, the only circumstance under which Americans support drone strikes is when they are used on foreign soil against non-U.S. citizens. Under that scenario, there is clear support, with 65 percent in favor and 28 percent opposed.

Paul's position, of course, is now the position of the Obama administration as well, with Attorney General Eric Holder having issued a letter clarifying that the United States would not use drone strikes against noncombatant American citizens suspected of terrorism on American soil.

Paul filibustered the nomination of now-CIA Director John Brennan in order to get the White House to issue such a clarification.

The poll showed considerably less support for drone strikes against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil than another recent poll, from Fox News. The Fox poll showed 45 percent supported the use of such strikes, while 56 percent supported drone strikes against non-citizens suspected of terrorism on U.S. soil.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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