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65% of Americans in Favor of Drones; Fewer Than 14% Follow the Issue Very Closely

A new Gallup poll reveals some disturbing findings about Americans' perceptions on drones.
 
 
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A new Gallup poll has found that while nearly two-thirds of Americans support using drones on suspected terrorists in countries abroad, less than half support drone use on American soil or on American citizens abroad.

And as far as people paying attention to drone use, the poll found that only 14 percent of Americans say they follow the news concerning drone use “very closely.” 35 percent said they follow it “somewhat closely,” 25 percent said “not too closely” and 24 percent said “not at all.” The poll found that those who said they follow drone coverage very or somewhat closely, are more likely to support drone use in all circumstances than those who don’t.

The poll was conducted one week after Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster of Obama’s CIA pick John Brennan. Paul wanted to clarify whether the U.S. government is legally able to use a drone against a U.S. citizen on American soil.

Only 13 percent of the poll's respondents said they support launching airstrikes in the U.S. against U.S. citizens living here who are suspected terrorists. 25 percent said they support using drones against non-citizen terrorist suspects living in the U.S. And 41 percent support using drones against U.S. terror suspects living abroad. Meanwhile, a majority of respondents (65 percent) said they support using drones on non-citizen suspects living abroad.

As for the difference in support among party lines, the poll found that Republicans were more likely to say they follow drone coverage very or somewhat closely than Democrats or Independents. And Republicans are more likely to support drone use in all circumstances than Democrats and Independents. 

So what does it all mean? Looking at the findings, it seems as though racism and the belief in American exceptionalism play a large role for people in determining who it is and isn’t okay to kill using such remote weapons. 

Alyssa Figueroa is an associate editor at AlterNet. 

 
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