war in iraq


Majority of Americans believes Bush would prefer to attack Iraq

Majority of Americans believes Bush would prefer to attack Iraq than to achieve his goals without an attack, according to The Harris Poll

January 31, 2003

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The weakest link in the public's support for President Bush's Iraq policy may be that only 37% of adult Americans believe that President Bush would prefer to achieve his goals in Iraq by peaceful means. Most people (57%) believe he wants to attack Iraq. This is, of course, the view of the president held by many people in other countries, where he was been described as a gun-slinging Texas "cowboy" and even a warmonger.

This is a surprise because in some respects President Bush has been quite successful in persuading the public about Iraq. A 55% majority is still at least somewhat confident that he will make the right decision on whether or not to use force. Most people do not believe that Saddam Hussein will disarm if he is not attacked. And the overwhelming majority of the public believes that there is some link, if not a close one, between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® conducted online with a nationwide sample of 2,201 adults just before the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Polls conducted since that address found it did little to change in public attitude on Iraq. This survey uses the same methodology that was used by Harris Interactive® to predict the 2000 presidential election with great accuracy.

When asked for the most important reason that would justify attacking Iraq, the largest numbers of people mention the elimination of weapons of mass destruction (22%), the overthrow of Saddam Hussein (21%) and the need to uphold international law and the United Nations (18%). Very few people say the main reason is to secure and control oil supplies (3%) or to defeat Al Qaeda (7%).

The Harris Poll® was conducted online within the United States between January 21 and 27, 2003, among a nationwide cross section of 2,201 adults (ages 18+). Figures for age, sex, race, education and number of adults in the household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. "Propensity score" weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

Source: Harris Interactive


war in iraq