By a wide margin, American voters think Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi is more committed to staying in power than President Barack Obama is to ousting him.
In addition, most voters think the Obama administration has failed to explain what the U.S. goals are in Libya, and more voters disapprove (51 percent) than approve (42 percent) of the president’s handling of the situation there.
These are just some of the findings in a Fox News poll released Wednesday.
By a large 31 percentage-point margin, more voters think Qaddafi is determined to staying in power (57 percent) than think Obama is committed to removing him (26 percent).
Most Republicans (71 percent) and independents (65 percent) say Qaddafi is more determined. Even among Democrats, a slightly larger number believe Qaddafi is more committed (43 percent) than think President Obama is (39 percent).
Meanwhile, despite President Obama making a prime-time address to the nation on March 28, most voters -- 61 percent -- say the administration has not explained what the U.S. is trying to achieve in Libya.
That includes not only 79 percent of Republicans, but also nearly half -- 45 percent -- of Democrats. For independents, 64 percent do not think the administration has clearly explained the goal.
International military operations, including U.S. forces, began attacking pro-Qaddafi defenses on March 18.
Even as support for U.S. intervention in Libya is up a bit from last month, twice as many voters oppose it. Thirty percent favor the U.S. military getting involved, up from 25 percent three weeks ago (March 14-16).
A 62 percent majority opposes the military involvement, compared to 65 percent previously.
Support for the action among Democrats has increased to 33 percent in the new poll, up from 21 percent in mid-March. Still, a 59 percent majority of Democrats opposes it.
More than three-quarters (77 percent) reject the idea of the U.S. arming Libyan rebels -- something the administration says it is considering.
Some lawmakers are upset the president authorized military action in Libya without consulting Congress. A majority of voters -- 58 percent -- agree that was wrong. Some 37 percent think it was acceptable for the president to move ahead without Congressional input.
Views among Democrats are evenly split: 47 percent say it was okay to take action without Congressional input and 46 percent say it was wrong. Most Republicans -- 74 percent -- think it was wrong for President Obama to authorize action without consulting Congress, as do 54 percent of independents.
Nearly two-thirds of voters (63 percent) view the intervention in Libya as different from what the U.S. did in Iraq, and over half think it’s wrong to describe the action as “war” (54 percent).
NATO officially took charge of all operations in Libya on March 31. The poll found most voters dislike the idea of U.S. troops being under foreign command, even in coalition operations overseas: 77 percent think U.S. soldiers should only be under U.S. command.
By a 52-32 percent margin, voters oppose making it a standard policy for the United States to get involved in situations overseas when civilians are being killed by their country’s leadership.
Many voters -- 40 percent -- see a similarity between President Obama’s foreign policies and those of former President George W. Bush’s. Roughly equal numbers of Democrats (37 percent) and Republicans (38 percent) see Obama’s foreign policies as similar to Bush’s.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 914 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from April 3 to April 5. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.