Friday, February 18, 2005

Decreased Support for the War Despite Misconceptions

There are lots of published explanations as to why Bush won the election, with the post-election polls suggesting that national security was the key concern. Maybe the problem was just that the election was a bit too early. A new Harris Poll shows opinion turning further against Bush on Iraq and National Security issues, which conceivably could have affected their votes. Unfortunately, the polls show that a large number of Americans continue to have significant misconceptions about Iraq.

Support for keeping the troops in Iraq, versus bringing them home over the next year, has dropped considerably between November and today. In November 50% supported keeping the troops in Iraq, with 47% opposed. Currently this has, excuse the expression, flip flopped, with only 39% supporting keeping the troops in Iraq as opposed to 59% supporting bringing the troops home in the next year.

Even more significant is opinions connecting Iraq to the war on terror. Widespread confusion of the two issues worked tremendously to Bush's benefit. In October, 52% believed that the war in Iraq strengthened the war on terror as opposed to 45% believing it weakend it. In November this was tied at 48%. Currently a slim majority believe the war in Iraq weakened us in the war on terror at 48% to 46% who believed it strengthed the war on terror. Hopefully more people will realize how Bush's policies have weakened the United States over time.

The public remains quite misinformed. The number who mistakingly believe Saddam had strong links to al Qaeda actually increased from 62% to 64% between October and now. Less believe that Iraq had WMD at the time of the invasion, dropping from 38% to 36%. Perhaps the most disturbing case of misinformation held by the public is that the percentage of people who believed that several of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraquis increased from 37% to 44% since October. I'm sure the Saudis are happy about this misconception.


Blogger IFK Editor said...

Wow, I wonder where the American public heard that Saddam and Osama had teamed up...oh yeah, Vice President Cheney. And even after it was proven false in the 9/11 commission Cheney continued to repeat unconfirmed and trumped up evidence to make his claims.

And the media let him get away with it.

12:02 PM  

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