A new poll finds widespread support for President Obama’s decision to make it easier to travel and trade with Cuba, but skepticism that the changes will usher in democracy on the island.
Fully 63 percent of Americans approve of the administration’s decision last month to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba after more than 50 years, the Pew Research Center survey found. Even more -- 66 percent -- favor lifting the trade embargo against Cuba.
The poll, however, finds skepticism that a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations will lead to greater democracy in Cuba. Only about a third -- 32 percent -- say Cuba will become more democratic over the next several years.
The survey, conducted Jan. 7-11 among 1,504 adults, finds strong support among Democrats and independents for the restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba, and for ending the embargo. About three-quarters of Democrats - 74 percent - along with 67 percent of independents support the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Republicans are more divided: 40 percent of Republicans approve of re-establishing ties, while 48 percent. As many Republicans say they oppose lifting the embargo as say they favor it -- 47 percent each.