Monday :: Jun 23, 2003

AOL Snapshot Poll Bodes Poorly for Bush in Iraq


by Steve

Following up on a citation from Michael H. that I noticed myself tonight on AOL was their poll for the night, whose results should give the Bushies a few sleepless nights.

I have heard anecdotally that polls conducted on AOL reflect the conservative bias of their membership base. From what I have seen in their polls generally this appears to be true. Yet in tonight’s AOL poll, which was bracketed with stories about what our troops are facing in Iraq, the results paint an alarming picture for George W. Bush. There may be ways to multiple vote on AOL, but I know that we are unable to, so I have to believe that these results to a large degree are not the result of multiple voting.

When you read these numbers, keep in mind how supportive of the war the public has been recently, how uncaring they have been about finding WMDs, and how detached the public has shown itself to be recently from how bad things really are in Iraq for our soldiers.

Tonight’s Poll Results as of 10 PM Pacific PDT:

Do you fear Iraq could become another Vietnam?

61% Yes, I see early warning signs
39% No, things are going as expected
Total votes: 341,522

How do you feel about the war since major combat ended?

45% More negative, there are too many casualties
37% I feel the same
18% More positive, great progress has been made
Total votes: 342,445

Which do you think is most important?

35% Minimizing casualties
27% Capturing Saddam
25% Rebuilding Iraq
12% Finding weapons
Total votes: 346,945

This poll is of course not scientific whatsoever. But it may reflect a good snapshot in time of how the public feels about Iraq.

As I said, 59% of the public was saying as late as June 1 in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll that things were going moderately well in Iraq. But even in a Fox News poll as late as June 18, a diminishing number of respondents felt the war was worth it.

The problem Bush faces is that he has created a burden for his Administration in Iraq that may last five years or more, with ongoing casualties and a strategic inability to simply cut and run. Yet the voters are trending towards cutting and running from Iraq.

While this is deteriorating for Bush with no exit strategy in place or on the horizon, his quick victory in Iraq has given the voters a false assumption of how to solve other problems. In a poll just released today, 56% of those polled in an ABC News/Washington Post poll done over the last several days feel that the US should take military action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Again, Iraq has created a false sense amongst the voters of how easy it should be for the US military to simply go in and attack the nuclear program in Iran, as if we can do so and then simply leave. Bush is about to be a victim of his own poorly planned, half-baked geo-strategies.

The public has been conditioned by Bush for a quick-strike, fix-the-problem approach to the world’s problems. The ABC News/Post poll is disingenuous because it doesn’t ask follow up questions to determine how strong the public’s support remains if they are told we may have to fight tougher and better equipped armed forces in Iran without any support from other countries, even Great Britain and against the stated opposition of Russia. Those polled also weren’t asked if their support would remain as high if the US would have to occupy Iran to eliminate the nuclear program.

Steve :: 11:28 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!