Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former presidential candidate, makes a joke when asked about what advice he can give to Republican presidential aspirants on April 14 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

With the exception of Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) Beach Boys-themed "Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran" joke in 2007, basically nobody is talking about the United States taking military action to rein in Iran's nuclear weapons program — at least at this point.

And yet, a new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 13 percent of Americans — and about one in five Republicans (21 percent) — want just that. The survey shows that this many Americans "prefer military intervention against Iran's nuclear program."

But as with all polling, this has a lot to do with how you ask the question. Do one in eight Americans and one in five Republicans actually support attacking Iran? Probably not. But they were given two options: military intervention or "a negotiated settlement to reduce its nuclear potential" — the thing the Obama administration is currently pursuing.

Thus, people who don't agree with those negotiations might be more apt to choose the other option without really thinking it through. If a third, middle-ground option was offered — perhaps ratcheting up sanctions or maintaining the status quo — we're guessing that support for military action would be considerably lower.

But in polling, you can get about 10 percent of people to support basically anything. Heck, even 9 percent of Americans have a positive view of Vladimir Putin.


Correction: This post initially attributed the song "Barbara Ann" to The Beatles. It is, in fact, a Beach Boys song. The author of this post would blame his relative youth, but as a fan of the oldies, this would be dishonest. He would instead like to extend his sincerest apology for this egregious error and promise that it will not be repeated.

Clarification: As Ed Morrissey notes, the song was originally written and sung by The Regents and later covered by the Beach Boys. So the author of this post is clearly having one of those days.