Jan 8, 2020 - World

Only 23% of American voters can identify Iran on world map

Satellite image of the Middle East

Photo: Planet Observer/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Only 23% of registered American voters were able to correctly identify Iran on an unlabeled world map, according to a poll from Morning Consult and Politico.

Why it matters: Voters' inability to pick out Iran on the map highlights their relative unfamiliarity with foreign countries — even after decades of conflicts and tensions with the U.S. in the region.

  • Things didn't get much better on a smaller scale as just 28% of voters were able to place Iran on an unlabeled map of the Middle East.
  • 8% of voters thought Iraq was Iran on the regional map.

The state of play: On Morning Consult's global map, voters' responses were spread across the globe. While the Middle East saw definite clustering, some respondents believed — among dozens of wild responses — that Iran was located in:

  • The U.S.
  • Canada
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • The middle of the Atlantic Ocean

The big picture: The death of Iran's top general Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike has refreshed focus and attention on the region as tensions between the two countries remain high.

  • 47% of voters surveyed supported Trump's decision to strike Soleimani, compared to 40% who did not — a result that broke largely along party lines.
  • Morning Consult noted that there were no statistical differences in support for the strike among those who could or could not identify Iran on a map.

Go deeper: Signs of respite with Iran despite Trump's red line

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