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Douglas County Voters Uncertain About Reconciliation with Cuba and Conflict Over Taiwan
Voters in Douglas County, one of the nation's fastest growing counties, were asked two foreign policy questions in a survey sponsored by the political website www.ciruli.com. The survey was conducted by telephone with 403 registered voters May 5 to 12, 2000.

Douglas County voters are closely divided about lifting the Cuban embargo. Forty-one percent want to continue the trade embargo and not start diplomatic relations with Cuba, but 38 percent believe the embargo should be lifted and relations started.

Opinion differs by partnership, education, age, and gender: Democrats (45%) are more supportive of ending the embargo than Republicans (35%); post college graduates (47%) more supportive than high school graduates (25%); 65 years or older (63%) are much more supportive than 18 - to 38-year-olds (34%) and men (44%) more supportive than women (33%).

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There has been considerable discussion about Cuba in recent months due to the Elian Gonzales controversy. Let me ask you, do you believe America should end its trade embargo of Cuba and begin diplomatic relations with President Fidel Castro's government or do you believe America should continue the trade embargo and withhold diplomatic relations of Castro's government?
Begin relations 38%
Withhold relations 41%
Other 2%
Don't know/
no opinion

In a second question, Douglas County opinion is scattered among a range of possible responses on the question of defending Taiwan from military attack by China. Only a third (37%) of Douglas County voters believe the U.S. should defend Taiwan against China either directly or in an alliance. Another 21 percent support providing weapons. But a quarter (23%) favor avoiding all military actions and only condemning China or doing nothing at all. Seventeen percent haven't formed an opinion.

Women are much less supportive than men of taking military action for Taiwan. Sixty-five percent of men favor taking some military action, but only 51 percent of women do. Democrats (28%) and Republicans (29%) are similar in their support for the U.S. to defend Taiwan with an alliance, but more Republicans (14%) than Democrats (5%) support using American troops as first resort.

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Communist China has told the island of Taiwan that unless it begins negotiations to unify with the mainland, China will use force to take control of the island. What should America do if China attacks Taiwan with military force?
If necessary, help defend Taiwan with American military force 11%
If possible, defend Taiwan with an alliance of concerned Asian and other partners, but use American force alone if necessary 26%
Provide weapons and funds to Taiwan but do not use American military force 21%
Condemn China but provide no money, weapons or troops to help defend Taiwan 10%
Do nothing 13%
Other 3%
Don't know/no opinion 17%

Douglas County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. It now has more than 160,000 residents. Seventy two percent of residents arrived the last decade and 47 percent came from one of the other counties in the metro area. A third of new arrivals came from another state or country.

  • Telephone survey conducted by Ciruli Associates with random sample of 403 Douglas County registered voters.

  • Interviews conducted May 5 to 12, 2000

  • Statistical range of accuracy plus or minus 5 percentage points.

  • Conducted for publication in www.ciruli.com, the official web site of pollster Floyd Ciruli.


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