A Gallup poll finds support for a promilitary stance tempered by latent support for a verified freeze.
Most evangelicals approve of President Ronald Reagan’s promilitary policies on nuclear arms, yet they would support a nuclear freeze if the conditions were right. These somewhat contradictory results appear in a new Gallup poll commissioned by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE).
Overall, evangelicals gave answers similar to those of the general public, with one notable exception: on several key questions, between one-fourth and one-third of the evangelicals registered “no opinion.” This is about 10 percentage points higher than the public at large.
Spokesmen at NAE’S Office of Public Affairs in Washington say this confirms their suspicion that evangelicals comprise the “great undecided group” on this issue. It is because of this, they believe, that Reagan agreed to address their annual meeting last March in Orlando, and fervently appealed for evangelical support, NAE, with 3.5 million members, has taken no stand on the issue. The poll was commissioned, according to Washington office director Robert P. Dugan, Jr., when NAE officials realized there was no empirical data about how evangelicals perceive the issue.
When asked if they approve or disapprove of “the way President Reagan is dealing with the nuclear arms situation,” 41 percent of evangelicals and 43 percent of the general public said they approve. Those who disapprove numbered 26 percent of evangelicals and 34 percent of the public, and “no opinion” was given by 33 percent of evangelicals and 23 percent of the public at large.
Among evangelicals, 60 percent would favor “an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union for an immediate, verifiable ...1
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