Poll Shows One-Third Disagree or Unsure About World War II

Poll Shows One-Third Disagree or Unsure About World War II

One-third of Americans think it was either a mistake or they are unsure if the United States should have been involved in World War II, including 14% who think it was a mistake to fight against Germany’s Nazis and the Japanese, according to an Economist/YouGov poll.

In the study, 1,500 Americans were asked if the United States had made a mistake to participate in wars from World War I through Iraq and found that overall, 18% said they were not sure if the country should have fought in World War II, and 14% said they thought fighting the war was a mistake, reports The New York Post.

However, 62% overall said they think it was right to fight in World War II.

With responses about World War II sharply divided by age, gender, and political affiliation, the poll also showed: 

  • Ages 18-20: 60% said it was right to fight.
  • Ages 30-44: 49% agreed on fighting the war. 
  • 77% of Republicans agreed with being in th war.
  • 63% of Democrats agreed.
  • 74% of men agreed with sending troops to Germany.
  • 62% of women thought it was a good idea.

Meanwhile, most of the respondents thought U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was a mistake, with 48% opposing it, 28% supporting it, and 26% unsure. 

Iraq also ranked low, with 43% disagreeing with having been involved, 33% supporting involvement, and 25% saying they were not sure. 

The war in Afghanistan had a similar response, with 36% rejecting it, 25% not sure, and 39% in favor of it. 

Overall, Democrats overwhelmingly opposed being in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan, and Republicans favored involvement. 

Those polled were almost evenly divided on the Korean War, with 29% undecided, 26% against being involved, and 44% in favor of being there. 

The survey also revealed that overall, 58% of veterans who knew someone who had died while serving were more likely to say all the wars were mistakes. 

The Economist survey, conducted by YouGov, used a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US adults who were interviewed online between May 22 – 25, 2021. The results were weighted by age, gender, race, and education, as well as voter registration and the 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error was approximately 2.9% for the overall sample.   


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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.