President Barack Obama’s confident assertion that he could win a third White House term has been roundly debunked by a Monmouth University study released Monday.
“I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” Obama told an audience of the 54-member African Union during a trip to Ethiopia last month. “I believe if I ran again, I could win. But I can’t,” he added.
According to the Monmouth University poll, this overly optimistic analysis amounts to nothing more than “wishful thinking”.
A mere 26 per cent of Americans say they would vote to re-elect Obama if U.S. constitutional law permitted him to run again, the study reported, while 68 per cent told pollsters they would vote for someone else.
Notably, the polling data suggests, Obama’s support among Democrats is not as strong as one might assume, with just 53 per cent of the party faithful saying they would back the president for a third term - 43 per cent of Democrats would vote for another candidate.
“Well, it was a worth a shot,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, of Obama’s remarks. “It’s not like the president’s claim could ever be tested for real.”
Unsurprisingly, the poll also found that the issue-savvy American public does not trust Iran to hold up their side of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal signed between the United States and Iran to address the rogue nation’s nuclear program.
According to the study, 90 per cent of respondents admitted to pollsters that they have been following news about the recently negotiated agreement - and 61 per cent of them do not trust Iran at all to abide by the settlement.
“[Americans] can’t shake their nagging doubts that Iran has the upper hand here,” said Murray.
Meanwhile, Israel has announced that it expects Congress to reject the deal, which has been peddled as a means to defer Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon for several years.
Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of the powerful Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, told Israel Radio: “I’m convinced that the American Congress will reject by a large majority the nuclear agreement with Iran.”
“There is a plethora of explanations and reasons as to why the agreement weakens the United States.”
Critics have slammed the agreement, under which billions of impounded oil revenue could become available to Iran, for its foundations lie on something “as ephemeral as hope”, to use the words of Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Writing in the Washington Post, Takeyh said: “The hope that once the deal’s essential restrictions fade in a decade, Iran will have been transformed into a responsible member of the global society […] is a big bet to place on one of the most peculiar regimes in modern times.”
“The legacy of the nuclear agreement will not be a transformed Iran but a revolutionary regime possessing an elaborate nuclear infrastructure and seeking to dominate the Middle East.”
The Monmouth University poll surveyed a sample of 1,203 adults in the U.S. and was conducted by telephone between July 30 and August 2. The sample has a margin of error of ± 2.8 per cent.
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