Strong Levels of Concern Elicited by Messages
Recent research conducted under the American Perceptions Initiative found that messages about the possible impacts of the Iran nuclear deal elicited strong concern among the voters sampled, with 8 in 10 Americans saying they felt concern about each (80%-84% somewhat/extremely concerned). In fact, about half felt extremely concerned (43%-57%).
Tie Messages to Existing Concerns
While all messages were strong, those linking the deal to existing concerns, such as a nuclearized Middle East or terrorism, elicited more concern. Specifically, communications that tie the lifting of sanctions to a possible increase in funding for terrorist groups elicit stronger concern than other messages.
Communications More Likely to Raise Concern Among Those Who Are “Informed”
Notably, a message highlighting the weak nature of the deal compared to initial hopes was more likely to elicit concern from those who are familiar with the agreement than those who are unfamiliar with it, indicating its usefulness with a more informed audience.
- The administration first sought to dismantle Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the only thing this treaty dismantles is the sanctions and inspections that have kept Iran’s nuclear proliferation in check—85% vs. 79% concerned
- Tie to existing concerns—Messages linking to terrorism and a nuclearized Middle East highlighted concerns most effectively.
Source: Online survey using a national representative sample of 865 U.S. voters conducted July 13, 2015 with a margin of error of ±3.3%.