UTICA, New York -- As thousands of pro-Tibet protesters cut short the Olympic torch relay Monday in Paris, a new Zogby Interactive poll finds 70% of likely voters believe the International Olympic Committee was wrong to award this year’s summer Olympic Games to China because of its poor record on human rights.
Dissatisfaction with the IOC’s choice is strong across the political spectrum, with 70% of Democrats and Republicans, and 68% of political independents who said they disagree with the decision to have China host the summer games. A Zogby Interactive poll conducted in May 2007 found 44% had a favorable opinion of the IOC’s decision to award the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to China, while 39% viewed the decision unfavorably.
This latest poll was completed shortly before Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called on President George W. Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The online survey finds nearly half — 48% — think U.S. political officials should not attend the opening ceremony of the games because of China’s poor human rights record, while 33% believe U.S. officials should attend and 19% are unsure.
Most Democrats (52%) and independents (51%) would support U.S. political officials boycotting the opening ceremony, while Republicans are more divided — 42% believe U.S. officials should not attend, while 41% believe they should be present at the opening ceremony.
Support for a U.S. boycott of the opening ceremony is strongest among younger Americans — 56% of those age 18 to 29 would support skipping the opening ceremony, compared with 37% of those age 65 and older.
The Zogby Interactive poll of 7,121 likely voters was conducted April 4-7, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.2 percentage points.