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Americans Support Bringing Kosovar Refugees to United States

by David W. Moore

Four in Ten Say They Would Open Their Homes to Refugees for Temporary Housing

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

By better than a two-to-one majority, 66% to 30%, Americans support the decision of the Clinton Administration to bring several hundred ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo to the United States. Also, about four in ten Americans -- 39% -- say that if given the chance, they would open their homes to a Kosovar refugee family. These are the results of a new Gallup poll, conducted May 7-9.

This positive reaction to admitting Kosovar refugees into the United States is partly related to whether Americans support U.S. involvement in the NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia. Overall, 55% support such involvement, and among these people, three-quarters support the decision to bring Kosovar refugees to the United States. Among the 38% who oppose U.S. involvement in the air strikes, support is lower -- although still more than half agree with the decision. When it comes to opening their homes to the refugees, however, policy differences are not an important consideration: 42% of Americans who support U.S. policy in Kosovo would make their homes available, compared with 35% of those who oppose U.S. policy.

The poll also shows that reaction to the acceptance of refugees in the United States is not highly politicized. While Democrats are much more likely than either independents or Republicans to support U.S. involvement in the NATO air strikes, about two-thirds of each of these partisan groups support the decision to bring the refugees to the United States. Furthermore, about the same number of each group -- from 37% to 42% -- would be willing to open their homes to refugee families.

Winning the War and the Battle for Image
Although the war in Yugoslavia is officially a NATO enterprise, the United States is the major participant and Bill Clinton is the most visible leader on the NATO side of the conflict. The poll therefore tested Americans' perceptions of the current status of the war by asking Americans to say who they thought was winning so far: the U.S. or Serbia, and Bill Clinton or Slobodan Milosevic. By a margin of 40% to 25%, Americans believe the U.S. rather than Serbia is winning the conflict in Yugoslavia, with another 26% saying neither side is winning. But when it comes to evaluating Clinton vs. Milosevic, Americans are about equally divided: 36% say Clinton is winning, 35% say Milosevic. Another 23% say neither is winning.

Apart from how well Milosevic is doing against Clinton, the Serbian leader is viewed negatively by the vast majority of Americans, with 76% giving him an unfavorable rating and just 3% a favorable rating. About eight in ten Americans also believe that one of the objectives of U.S. and NATO military action in Yugoslavia should be the removal of Milosevic from power. By way of comparison, last year, 87% supported the proposal that Saddam Hussein be removed from power in Iraq, and 99% rated the Iraqi leader as unfavorable, with just 1% favorable.

Jesse Jackson's Popularity Soars
Respondents were not asked specifically about Jesse Jackson's involvement in the recent release of three American soldiers by Yugoslavia, but when asked to indicate their opinion of the former presidential candidate and prominent black leader, 70% said they had a favorable view, with just 22% saying unfavorable. These results represent a jump in favorability of 11 percentage points since last February, along with a drop in unfavorability of 9 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of national adults (N=1,025) surveyed May 7-9, 1999, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Next, I'd like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person -- or if you have never heard of him or her. First, ... How about ... ?

  Favorable Unfavorable Never Heard of No opinion
A. Jesse Jackson
99 May
7-9
70% 22% 1% 7%
99 Feb
19-21
59 31 2 8
95 Jul
20-23
47 40 1 12
95 Apr
17-19
38 55 1 6
92 May
7-10
46 42 11 1
B. Serbian Leader Slobodan Milosevic
(NA) 99
May 7-9
3 76 11 10

In terms of the conflict going on in Yugoslavia, who do you think is winning so far -- [ROTATE 1-2/2-1]?

BASED ON FORM A: N = 501; MARGIN OF SAMPLING ERROR = ± 5 PCT. PTS.

1. The United States (or) 40%
2. Serbia (or) 25
NEITHER (vol.) 26
No opinion 9
  100%

In terms of the conflict going on in Yugoslavia, who do you think is winning so far -- [ROTATE 1-2/2-1]?

BASED ON FORM B: N = 524; MARGIN OF SAMPLING ERROR = ± 5 PCT. PTS.

1. Bill Clinton (or) 36%
2. Slobodan Milosevic (or) 35
NEITHER (vol.) 23
No opinion 6
  100%
Do you believe that one of the objectives of U.S. and NATO military action in Yugoslavia should or should not be the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power?
  Yes, should be an objective No, should not No opinion
99 May 7-9 79% 15% 6%
98 Feb 13-15** 87 10 3

** Based on half sample; Question wording: "Do you believe that one of the objectives of British and American military action in the Gulf should or should not be the removal of Saddam Hussein from power?"

As you may know, several hundred ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo have been brought to the U.S. Do you support or oppose the decision to bring them here to the United States?

Support 66%
Oppose 30
No opinion 4
  100%

As you may know, the refugees are being temporarily housed at military bases, but some will be placed with American families. If given the chance, would you open your home to a Kosovo refugee family, or not?

Yes, would 39%
No, would not 57
No opinion 4
  100%

(vol.) volunteered response

Gallup


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/3859/Americans-Support-Bringing-Kosovar-Refugees-United-States.aspx
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