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82% of Americans fear nuclear war with North Korea

Most Americans are both paying attention to the news surrounding the nuclear threat from North Korea and worried about the potential for war, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, given exclusively to Axios.

Data: Public Policy Polling, August 9-10, 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The poll was commissioned by Vote Vets, a progressive PAC focused on issues affecting veterans and troops.

Some highlights from the poll:

  • 91% of Americans have paid at least some attention to the North Korea news with 63% giving a lot of attention to the issue. Those numbers were pretty constant among both parties.
  • 54% of both Democrats and Republicans felt that war between the United States and North Korea is somewhat close — while 26% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans think it's very close.
  • Diplomacy favored: Sizable majorities in both parties (82% of Democrats, 68% of Republicans) favor exhausting all diplomatic options in order to avoid war, and even bigger majorities (90% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans) support direct talks with North Korea before military action.
  • An area of disagreement: While a plurality of Americans oppose a preemptive military strike to disable North Korea's nuclear capabilities, the parties themselves disagree — a majority of Republicans would support it while a majority of Democrats would be opposed.