American Opinion Toward a War on Iraq
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An analysis of a wide range of polls by Zogby International concludes that the American public is at best "lukewarm" towards any upcoming war on Iraq. In addition, the report adds, "Commentators in the press have too often drawn conclusions about public opinion about a war on Iraq by looking at limited aspects of the questions."
The Zogby poll analysis, released on Oct. 9, was commissioned by the New York-based New World Foundation in conjunction with AlterNet. New World President Colin Greer explained the reason why he commissioned the report:
"For weeks I've been talking to a broad circle of people and rarely found anyone who favored a preemptive war in Iraq. Since most of the polling data published failed to show much anxiety about the Bush administration's direction, I was looking to understand this seeming mismatch. In choosing the Zogby firm, we chose to work with people who would do a good job, but who weren't associated with pollsters advocating for political parties or any particular position. The Zogby analysis helps us understand that in fact there is not any overwhelming support for a preemptive strike on Iraq."
The Zobgy analysis suggests that if the debate over Iraq is intended to distract American opinion from domestic issues, it appears to be doing a poor job of it. According to the report, "American opinion is far from galvanized for or against the war on Iraq."
In addition the analysis finds that:
- Americans appear to heavily support a wide debate on the war. A recent Zogby poll showed 61 percent of Americans feel that "leaders speaking out against the war are providing a necessary voice, compared to 21 percent who say they are hindering the war effort or being unpatriotic."
- Despite press coverage to the contrary, there is a decided gender gap on attitudes toward the war;
- Although Bush earns a 63 percent positive job rating, only 53 percent of Americans feel he deserves reelection;
- 40 percent say their congressional representative's vote on Iraq made no difference in their support while the numbers voting for and against candidates based on their stance on Iraq is split: 32 percent are more likely to support their members of Congress who voted for the resolution; 22 percent are more likely to support their members of Congress because they voted against it.