Increase in disapproval of U.S. drone assassination program

A new survey just released by the Pew Research Center found that respondents have become much more likely to voice their disapproval over the U.S. drone assassination program. In a phone survey conducted from May 12-18, 2015, Pew found that 35 of every 100 respondents said they disapproved “of the United States conducting [drone strikes] to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.”

The complete report of Pew’s methodology indicates that the last time they asked this particular question was from February 7-10, 2013. In that survey, only 26 of every 100 respondents disapproved, so in the span of two years the disapproval rate shot up by 9 points, constituting a 34% increase.

Approval for the drone program went up, too, though not as dramatically. Between 2013 and 2015, responses of approval increased from 56 to 58 per 100, a change which is actually smaller than the survey’s stated margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

The remaining portion of respondents who said they didn’t know or who refused to answer decreased by 11 percentage points between 2013 and 2015, and people who publicly advocate for an end to the drone assassination program have won more of them over to their side: apparently by a factor of 4 and a half.

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