In a survey of 55 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students, the following question was asked: “Do you favor or oppose the US bombing of the Islamic militants in Iraq known as ISIS?”. Of the 55 respondents, 51% opposed the bombing, 45% favored the bombing, and 4% abstained from answering. Below is a table with the statistics:
Based on the results of this survey and taking into account factors known about the sample, it is expected that the general population would be more in favor of the bombing of ISIS as compared to our sample of UNC students. This expectation is based on the fact that UNC students are largely democrats (also indicated by this survey), and would therefore oppose further intervention in Iraq.
Comparing this result to an ABC News/Washington Post Poll question taken between August 13th and 17th, 2014 of 1025 adults in the United States, which read “Overall, do you support or oppose U.S. air strikes against the Sunni insurgents in Iraq?” for which 54% of respondents supported and 39% opposed while 8% were Unsure, we see that indeed a lager fraction of the American public support the U.S. bombings of ISIS when compared to the survey of 55 UNC students. It is important to note that the margin of error of the ABC News/Washington Post poll is ±3.5%, although we may still feel confident in our conclusion in light of this margin.
We also consider that wording may have had an effect on responses. The Pew Research Center/USA Today conducted a similar poll between August 14th and 17th 2014 which asked “Do you think the U.S. has a responsibility to do something about violence in Iraq, or doesn’t the U.S. have this responsibility?” (Note: this wording appears confusing).