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  Library Opinion Polls Test Ban Support for Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Remains Strong

Public Support for a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Remains Strong
New National Poll Shows 70% Support
Sept. 26, 1997

(September 24, 1997, WASHINGTON, DC) One year after President Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in New York, a new nationwide poll shows that 70.3% of Americans "think the U.S. Senate should approve a Treaty with 140 other countries that would prohibit underground nuclear weapons explosions worldwide."

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Only 12.5% of respondents "disapprove" of ratification, while 17.2% said they "don't know." The results are based on the findings of an opinion survey of 800 adults conducted by The Mellman Group for the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers between September 11-15, 1997. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.5%.

The polling results show that support for the nuclear test ban treaty remain high among all demographic and political groupings. Support remains high among people identifying themselves as "strong republicans" (66.7%) and among people with a member of the military in their household (71.0 %). The poll also shows high support for the Treaty in all regions (Northeast 75.2%, Midwest 68.3%, South 66.2%, and West 75.0%).

Since President Clinton signed the Treaty on September 24th, 1996, 146 nations, including the Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France, have signed the agreement. This week, the President transmitted the Treaty to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. Hearings on the Treaty are scheduled for next month and a vote is expected by early 1998. President Clinton has said the Treaty will "help to prevent the nuclear powers from developing more advanced weapons... and will limit the possibilities for other states to acquire such devices."

The results of the new survey of public attitudes on the test ban issue are consistent with 10 other polls conducted since 1957, when President Eisenhower first sought a test ban. While the poll questions have varied over the years, with one exception (1958), support for the test ban has remained at 61%-85%.