The prospect of a military intervention to topple the Libyan regime is endorsed at this time by fewer than one-in-ten Americans, a new Vision Critical / Angus Reid poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 1,006 American adults presented respondents with three policy options that the United States government could take to deal with Libya, where a popular uprising that began in February has led to violent confrontations between rebels and the long-standing regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

More than a third of respondents (36%) believe the U.S. should impose economic sanctions against Libya—the course of action originally outlined by President Barack Obama last month.

One-in-five Americans (22%) would do nothing, saying that the African country poses no threat to the U.S. Only eight per cent of respondents would authorize a full-scale invasion of Libya to remove the current government.

There is little movement along party lines on this question, and the endorsement of a regime change operation in Libya is equally low among Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

More than half of Americans (55%) say they have followed recent news stories about Libya “very closely” or “moderately closely.”

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From March 4 to March 5, 2011, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 1,006 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.