Sunday, July 29, 2007

NYT Confirms Improved Poll Numbers on Iraq

The New York Times did not believe its initial poll showing people's views on the Iraq war had shifted to show slightly greater support. A second poll has confirmed this:

When the second round of results came back, the numbers were nearly identical to the ones found in the poll about Mrs. Clinton. In the poll conducted last weekend with 889 adults, 42 percent of the respondents said the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, and 51 percent said the United States should have stayed out.

There was also a drop in the number of people who said the war was going badly. In the latest poll, 66 percent of Americans said things were going badly for the United States in its efforts to bring stability and order to Iraq. That is down from 76 percent who said the same thing in May.

Recall too, that 'adults' are significantly more big-D Democratic than are registered voters. And registered voters are more Democratic than likely (or actual voters). So if you move each of those numbers say, 6 points or so toward George Bush's direction, and you have a fair snapshot of where the likely 2008 voters currently are. They are probably just about evenly split on the initial decision to go to Iraq, and still in favor of getting out.

Update: I should have pointed out; this makes pretty clear that opposing the Iraq war lock, stock and barrel is a dicey political proposition. The actual voters will prefer a candidate who is at least comfortable with a muscular foreign policy. Consider the level of support for deposing Saddam now, with the war as unpopular as it is. Opposing the removal of Saddam could be difficult to defend in 2008 -- particularly if the war is any less unpopular than it is today.

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