Nearly 60% of Americans say that the US response to Saudi Arabia’s role in the murder of US-based journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi hasn’t been tough enough, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS. Around a quarter say that the response has been about right.
Among Democrats (77%) and independents (53%), majorities say the US response hasn’t been tough enough thus far. That drops a bit to 43% among Republicans but still outpaces the 36% of Republicans who feel the response has been about right.
Senators on Thursday approved a resolution condemning Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Khashoggi, a rebuke of the White House’s reaction to the incident and its defense of Saudi Arabia.
Most Americans say they are tuned in to the case – 58% say that they’ve been following news about the murder of Khashoggi very or somewhat closely. And those who have been paying the most attention have the most critical take on the US response. Seven in 10 who say they’ve been following closely say the response hasn’t been strong enough.
President Donald Trump, who has questioned the intelligence community’s assessment linking the Saudi Crown Prince to the killing, isn’t viewed positively for his handling of the US-Saudi relationship. Slightly more than a quarter (27%) approve of the way Trump is handling it, while 52% disapprove. That’s below his 36% overall approval rating for handling foreign affairs. Even among the 39% who approve of his overall handling of the presidency, only 62% approve of how he’s handling the US relationship with Saudi Arabia.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS December 6-9 among a random national sample of 1,015 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.