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Popular opinion in the US on the invasion of Iraq

Popular opinion in the US on the invasion of Iraq
This article is about the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. For more information on this topic, see Views on the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The United States public’s opinion of the invasion of Iraq has changed significantly since the years preceding the incursion. For various reasons, mostly related to the unexpected consequences of the invasion, the US public’s perspective on its government’s choice to initiate an offensive is increasingly negative. A USA Today/Gallup Poll indicated that 75% of US citizens felt the US did not make a mistake in sending troops to Iraq in March 2003. However, according to the same poll retaken in April 2007, 58% of the participants stated that the initial attack was a mistake.[1] In May, 2007, the New York Times and CBS News released similar results of a poll in which 61% of participants believed the U.S. "should have stayed out" of Iraq.[2] of nuclear and biochemical weapons, and advocating immediate military action. [6]

January 2003

Protests in Portland, Oregon in March 2006 An early January 2003 poll showed rapidly decreasing support for an invasion, although there was still more public support than there was prior to the Gulf War a decade before. Much of this appeared to be for the same reason that France and Germany opposed the war; namely the US public believing that the weapons inspectors should be given the time they need to complete their investigations. US officials downplayed this shift in public opinion, claiming that it was not a true reflection of the public mood. A poll conducted at the time by The New York Times and CBS News released showed even less support for the US-led war. Approximately 2 out of 3 respondents wanted the government to wait for the UN inspections to end, and only 31% supported using military force immediately. Interestingly, this same poll showed that a majority of Americans believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but did not expect UN inspectors to find them. These numbers indicated a dramatic drop in support, as, two months prior, most polls showed about two-thirds of those polled supporting military action. However, about 60% of those polled also supported, if necessary, the use of military action to remove Saddam from power which closely

In March 1992 55% of Americans said they would support sending American troops back to the Persian Gulf to remove Saddam Hussein from power. [3]

February 2001
Seven months prior to the September 11 attacks a Gallup poll showed that 52% would favor an invasion of Iraq while 42% would oppose it. [4] Additionally, 64% said that the U.S. should have removed Saddam at the end of the Gulf War. [5]

October 2002
Several prominent evangelical leaders of the Christian right sent an open letter (referred to as the Land Letter) to President Bush outlining a "just war" rationale for an invasion, citing Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession


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mirrored recent polls taken by Time Magazine, CNN, FOX News, USA Today, CBS News and other news organizations. Current polls also showed that most Americans did not think that Saddam was cooperating with inspectors. [7] Some polls showed that Bush’s 2003 State of the Union increased US support for the invasion, but other polls showed that it had little effect. Most polls showed that support for the invasion, depending on how the question is phrased, was at between 55-65% (58% according to CNN/USA Today, 57% according to the LA Times, and 67% according to Fox). However, the same polls also suggested that most Americans would still like to see more evidence against Iraq, and for UN weapons inspections to continue before making an invasion. For example, an ABC news poll reported than only 10% of Americans favored giving the inspectors less than a few weeks; 41% favored giving them a few weeks, 33% a few months, and 13% more than that. [1] A consistent pattern in the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion was that higher percentages of the population supported the impending war in polls that offered only two options (for or against) than in polls that broke down support into three or more options given (distinguishing unconditional support for the war, opposition to the war even if weapons inspectors do their job, and support if and only if inspection crews are allowed time to investigate first). Some polls also showed that the majority of Americans believed that President Bush had made his case against Iraq. The Gallup poll, for example, found that 67% of those who watched the speech felt that the case had been made, which was a jump from 47% just prior the speech. However, many more Republicans than Democrats watched the speech, so this may not be an accurate reflection of the overall opinion of the American public. An ABC news poll found little difference in the percentage of Americans who felt that Bush has made his case for war after he had made his speech, with the percentage remaining at about 40%. [1]

Popular opinion in the US on the invasion of Iraq
invasion. NBC’s Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, said the bumps in support were "largely" due to president Bush’s State of the Union speech in January and to Powell’s presentation on February 5, which most viewers felt offered strong evidence for action against Iraq. Bush’s approval ratings jumped 7 points, and support for the invasion jumped 4 points. Only 27% opposed military action, the smallest percentage since the polls began in April of 2002. The percentage of Americans supporting an invasion without UN support jumped eight points to 37%. 49% of those polled felt that President Bush had prepared the country for war and its potential risks, a 9 point jump from the previous month. [8] A Gallup poll showed the majority of the population erroneously believed Iraq was responsible for the attacks of September 11. Anti-war demonstrations took place in more than 500 US cities, among them Cambridge (Massachusetts), Berkeley, New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland, Athens (Ohio), Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Oakland, Madison, Eugene, Detroit, and East Lansing. In several cases demonstrators were arrested. The protests reached their peak just before the Iraq War broke out.

March 2003
Days before the March 20 invasion, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found support for the war was related to UN approval. Nearly six in 10 said they were ready for such an invasion "in the next week or two." But that support dropped off if the U.N. backing was not first obtained. If the U.N. Security Council were to reject a resolution paving the way for military action, 54% of Americans favored a U.S. invasion. And if the Bush administration didn’t not seek a final Security Council vote, support for a war dropped to 47%. [9] An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken after the beginning of the war showed a 62% support for the war, lower than the 79% in favor at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War. [1]

February 2003
Following Powell’s February 5 speech at the UN, most polls, like one conducted by CNN and NBC, showed increased support for the

April 2003
A poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News found that 72% of Americans


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supported the Iraq War, despite finding no evidence of chemical or biological weapons. A poll made by CBS found that 60% of Americans said the Iraq War was worth the blood and cost even if no WMD are ever found.

Popular opinion in the US on the invasion of Iraq
polled believe the war has not made America safer. [14]

July 2005
On July 4, 2005 the National Council of Churches officially took a stand against the Iraq War calling it dishonorable and urging a change in U.S. policy. [15]

May 2003
A Gallup poll made on behalf of CNN and the newspaper USA Today concluded that 79% of Americans thought the Iraq War was justified, with or without conclusive evidence of illegal weapons. 19% thought weapons were needed to justify the war.[10]

April 2006
A CBS news poll was conducted from 28-30 April, 2006, nearly three years after President Bush’s Mission Accomplished appearance. 719 adults were polled nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percent. 30% of those polled approved of the way Bush was handling the Iraq situation, 64% disapproved, and 6% were unsure. 51% of those polled felt America should have stayed out of Iraq, 44% said the invasion was the right thing to do, with 5% unsure. [1]

August 2004
An August 2004 poll showed that two-thirds (67%) of the American public believe the U.S. went to war based on incorrect assumptions.[1] The morale of the US troops has been subject to variations. Important issues are the vulnerability of the Humvee vehicles, and the great number of wounded and maimed soldiers [11] [12]

July 2006
A CBS/New York Times poll was conducted from 21-25 July, 2006. 1,127 adults were polled nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. Thirty percent of those polled said the invasion of Iraq was worth the American casualties and other costs, while 63% said the war was not worth it. Six percent was unsure. 32% said they approved of the way George W. Bush was handling the situation in Iraq, 62% disapproved, with six percent unsure. [1]

November 2004
The US presidential election of November 2004 (United States presidential election, 2004) saw George Bush reelected with a narrow majority of the voters and has been the only general, if somewhat circumspect, test of the US popular support of the war. The election campaign was widely seen as a referendum on Bush’s job performance to during his first four years, and in particular on the validity of the Iraq War and War on Terrorism, as such the election can be seen as an indication that a slim majority of Americans supported the war.

September 2006
A CBS/New York Times poll was conducted from 15-19 September, 2006. 1,131 adults were polled nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. 51% of those polled said that, looking back, they felt that the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq. 44% said the U.S. did the right thing in invading Iraq. Five percent were unsure. [1]

May 2005
A Gallup poll from May 2005 showed that the American public has more confidence in the military than in any other institution. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the military.[13]

October 2006
A CNN poll was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation from 29 September to 2 October, 2006. 1,014 adults were polled nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. 61% of those polled disapproved of the war in Iraq, 38% approved, with 1% unsure. [1]

June 2005
Washington Post/ABC poll find that almost 60% of Americans think should not have been fought in the first place. For the first time since the war started, over half of Americans


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A Newsweek poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International on 26-27 October, 2006. 1,002 adults were polled nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. When asked From what you know now, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or not?, 43% said it was the "Right Thing". [1]

Popular opinion in the US on the invasion of Iraq
65% opposed, and 1% was undecided. The margin of error was plus or minus 3%. [1]

August 2007
On August 6-8, CNN polled 1,029 adults nationwide. 33% said they favored the war in Iraq, 64% opposed, and 3% was undecided. The margin of error was plus or minus 3%. [1]

November 2006
A Newsweek poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International on 9-10 November, 2006. 1,006 adults were polled nationwide. When asked if the U.S. did the right thing by going into Iraq, 41% responded yes, 54% responded no, with 5% unsure. The margin of error was plus or minus 3%. [1]

September 2007
On September 10-12, in an Associated PressIpsos poll of 1,000 adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, 33% approved of George Bush’s handling of the "situation in Iraq", while 65% disapproved of it. [1]

December 2008
On December, 11-14, An ABC News/Washington Post Poll of 1,003 adults nationwide, found 64% felt the Iraq War was not worth fighting, with 34% saying it was worth fighting, with 2% undecided. The margin of error was 3%.[18]

December 2006
A CNN poll taken on 15-17 December 2006, found that 67% polled opposed the war in Iraq, but that only and that a majority of 54% believed in an exit over the next year.[16] An LA times poll done a few days previously had found that 65% believe Iraq has become a civil war. The same poll found that 66% believed neither side was winning and only 26% of respondents agreed America should stay "as long as it takes". Both polls found that 2/3 or more of respondents disapproved of President Bush’s handling of the war.

See also
• • • • • • • • • • • Support our troops Iraq disarmament crisis Opposition to the Iraq War Protests against the Iraq War Protests against the invasion of Afghanistan 2003 invasion of Iraq Governments’ positions pre-2003 invasion of Iraq Public relations preparations for 2003 invasion of Iraq United Nations Security Council and the Iraq War Lafayette Hillside Memorial International public opinion on the war in Afghanistan

January 2007
A CBS poll of 993 nationwide adults taken on 1-3 January found that under 1 in 4 approve of Bush’s Iraq policy, up 2 points from the last CBS poll in December.[17] The same poll finds that 82% believe the Democrats have not developed a "clear plan" and 76% believe the same is true of President Bush. [1] A CNN poll conducted January 11 found that 32% of 1,093 adults polled ’strongly’ or ’moderately’ supported a planned increase in Iraqi troop levels, while 66% ’strongly’ or ’moderately’ opposed the plan. Three percent were unsure. The margin of error was plus or minus three percent. [1]

External links
• ProCon’s Collection of Iraq Polls • View the 2008 presidential candidate’s views on these questions: Was it a mistake to attack Iraq in 2003? and Has the war in Iraq made America safer?

May 2007
On May 4-7, CNN polled 1,028 adults nationwide. 34% said they favored the war in Iraq,


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Popular opinion in the US on the invasion of Iraq

[1] ^ " Iraq Polls". Retrieved on 2007-09-18. [2] New York Times, May 25, 2007 [3] Gallup Poll [4] Gallup Poll [5] Public Opinion P. 130. [6] "Wikisource of Land Letter". Land_Letter. Retrieved on 2007-09-18. [7] CBS News [8] [9] USA Today Poll, March 16, 2003 [10] "Washington Post May 1, 2003 Gallup poll". ac2/wp-dyn/A1155-2003May16. Retrieved on 2007-05-31. [11] Isenberg, David (2003-10-02). "US wounded in the shadows". Asia Times. Middle_East/EJ02Ak01.html. Retrieved on 2007-09-18. [12] Vick, Carl (2004-09-05). "U.S. Troops in Iraq See Highest Injury Toll Yet". Washington Post. articles/A62425-2004Sep4.html. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.

[13] "Military Tops Public Confidence List in New Gallup Poll". Jun2005/20050603_1544.html. Retrieved on 2007-05-31. [14] Dana Milbank and Claudia Deane (8 June 2005). "Poll Finds Dimmer View of Iraq War, 52% Say U.S. Has Not Become Safer". wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/07/ AR2005060700296.html. Retrieved on 5 March 2009. [15] Scahill, Allison (2005-07-01). "Church leaders call on U.S. to change Iraq policy, end war". b.865535/k.44E/ Church_leaders_call_on_US_to_change_Iraq_policy_e Retrieved on 2007-09-17. [16] "Poll: Approval for Iraq handling drops to new low". POLITICS/12/18/bush.poll/index.html. Retrieved on 2007-05-31. [17] "Poll: High Hopes For New Congress". 01/04/opinion/polls/main2330862.shtml. Retrieved on 2007-05-31. [18] Polling Report-Iraq

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Categories: Stances and opinions regarding the 2003 Iraq conflict This page was last modified on 26 April 2009, at 00:04 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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