More Americans back Chuck Hagel's nomination as Defense Secretary than oppose

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 08:12 hrs

A number of Americans support former Republican senator Chuck Hagel's nomination as defense secretary than oppose it, a new poll has found.

According to the Washington Post/ABC News Poll, nearly 42 percent support President Barack Obama's pick, and 24 percent oppose Hagel.

The partisan division over Hagel is stark as 61 percent of Democrats support his nomination, compared with 40 percent of independents and 28 percent of Republicans.

The poll found that nearly 35 percent of Republicans oppose the selection, and 37 percent have no opinion, Politico reports.

Obama selected the Nebraskan, whom he befriended while in the Senate, despite warnings from pro-Israel groups and hawkish Republicans, the report said.

Those groups object to Hagel's zeal to cut defense spending, comments he made about the "Jewish lobby" and his reluctance to use military action against Iran.

Opponents had highlighted anti-gay remarks Hagel made in the 1990s, but only 12 percent of Democrats object to his selection, the report added. (ANI)

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