war in iraq

 

Poll shows majority support U.S. military action if inspectors don't find evidence of banned weapons

Large Majority Believes Saddam Harboring Al Qaeda Members

February 8, 2003

NEW YORK, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A 60-percent majority of Americans polled say they would support U.S. military action in Iraq if the U.N. weapons inspectors do not find evidence that Iraq has chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to the latest Newsweek Poll. And 60 percent would support U.S. military forces occupying the country for five years after the fighting stops, the poll shows.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans polled say the evidence that Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the U.N. Security Council this week was at least somewhat convincing (46% say very; 23% say somewhat) in making the case that Iraq has been hiding banned weapons materials from U.N. inspectors; 62 percent say the evidence that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses an immediate danger to the world was at least somewhat convincing (41% say very, 21% say somewhat); and 60 percent say Powell was at least somewhat convincing (35% say very, 25% say somewhat) that Iraq is actively supporting Al Qaeda terrorists, the poll shows.

Fifty-two percent of Americans say the U.S. should give inspectors a month or less to continue looking for banned weapons before taking military action against Iraq: thirty-three percent of those polled say the U.S. should give the U.N. weapons inspectors less than a month; 19 percent say to give them about a month. Two weeks ago, 59 percent said the U.S. should give the inspectors at least "several months" (41 percent said the U.S. should give the inspectors as much time as the inspectors think is necessary. Now just 31 percent say the inspectors should be given as much time as the inspectors think is necessary.)

Large majorities of Americans still approve of the way President Bush is handling policies to deal with the threat posed by Iraq and Saddam. Bush's job approval rating is 61 percent, a six percent increase from the Newsweek Poll of January 23-24 and 60 percent of Americans approve of the way he's handling policies to deal with the threat posed by Iraq and Saddam. A full 70 percent of Americans polled support using military force against Iraq -- a 10-percent jump from the Newsweek Poll two weeks ago.

A full 74 percent of Americans polled believe that Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq is harboring Al Qaeda terrorists and helping them to develop chemical weapons. That number is consistent with the Newsweek Poll taken September 26-27, 2002.

Americans have few illusions about the risk of military action against Iraq. Slightly more than half (53%) of those polled say U.S. military action against Iraq would create serious divisions between the U.S. and its allies. Half (50%) say it's more important for the U.S. to take more time to try to achieve our goals without using military force in Iraq (a decrease from 66 percent of Americans two weeks ago); 46 percent say it's more important to move forward quickly with military action as the only way to effectively deal with Iraq (an increase from 32 percent on Jan. 23-24).

Nonetheless, an 85-percent majority say they'd support U.S. military action against Iraq if the U.S. joined with its major allies and with the full support of the U.N. Security Council, the current poll shows. And just 37 percent approve of military action if the U.S. had to attack alone -- an increase of six percent.

Eighty-six percent of those polled say the attack against Iraq would inspire terrorist attacks against American citizens; 76 percent say Iraq would retaliate by using biological or chemical weapons against the U.S. and 73 percent say Iraq would retaliate by using such weapons against Israel, the poll shows.

If the U.S. does not take military action against Iraq, 83 percent of those polled say Saddam would then be instrumental in helping Al Qaeda terrorists carry out future attacks against the United States and 75 percent say Iraq would use weapons of mass destruction against a neighboring country, the poll shows.

This Newsweek Poll is part of the February 17 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, February 10). For this Newsweek Poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,003 adults aged 18 and older on February 6-7, 2003. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

                                Newsweek Poll

                       Iraq After Powell's Presentation

                     Princeton Survey Research Associates





                            Final Topline Results

                                   (2/8/03)



                        N = 1,003 adults, 18 and over

                       Margin of error: plus or minus 3

                         Interviewing dates: 2/6-7/03





  SAMPLE SIZE/MARGIN OF ERROR FOR KEY SUBGROUPS:



   492  Men (plus or minus 5)

   511  Women (plus or minus 5)



  1.  Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling

       his job as president?



                  Approve        Disapprove     DK

  Current Total        61             31             8              =100



  Trends-Total

  (1/23-24/03)         55             38             7              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         56             33             11             =100

  (11/7-8/02)          60             30             10             =100

  (10/24-25/02)        61             29             10             =100

  (10/11-12/02)        61             29             10             =100

  (9/26-27/02)         65             27             8              =100

  (9/12-13/02)         70             23             7              =100

  (8/28-29/02)         61             30             9              =100

  (7/18-19/02)         65             25             10             =100

  (7/11-12/02)         68             22             10             =100

  (6/27-28/02)         70             19             11             =100

  (5/16-17/02)         73             20             7              =100

  (4/25-26/02)         71             16             13             =100

  (3/21-22/02)         74             16             10             =100

  (1/31-2/1/02)        83             12             5              =100

  (12/13-14/01)        81             11             8              =100

  (12/6-7/01)          82             12             6              =100

  (11/29-30/01)        85             9              6              =100

  (11/15-16/01)        85             10             5              =100

  (11/8-9/01)          85             8              7              =100

  (11/1-2/01)          85             11             4              =100

  (10/25-26/01)        85             10             5              =100

  (10/18-19/01)        88             8              4              =100

  (10/11-12/01)        88             8              4              =100

  (10/4-5/01)          84             11             5              =100

  (9/27-28/01)         86             9              5              =100

  (9/20-21/01)         86             10             4              =100

  (9/13-14/01)         82             11             7              =100

  (8/25-9/5/01)**      51             34             15             =100

  (6/13-17/01)         50             33             17             =100

  (5/10-11/01)         50             31             19             =100

  (5/3-4/01)           57             30             13             =100

  (4/12-13/01)         57             28             15             =100

  (3/15-16/01)         55             30             15             =100

  (2/15-16/01)         56             21             23             =100

  (2/8-9/01)           52             25             23             =100



  **NOTE:  Bush approval trend for August-September 2001 from Pew Research

            Center.







  2.  Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling

       policies to deal with the threat posed by Iraq and its leader Saddam

       Hussein?



                       Approve        Disapprove     DK

  Current Total        60             33             7              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         59             34             7              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         53             38             9              =100

  (10/10-11/02)        58             34             8              =100

  (9/26/27/02)         60             30             10             =100

  (9/12-13/02)         60             30             10             =100





  3.  In the fight against terrorism, the Bush Administration has talked

       about using military force against Saddam Hussein and his military in

       Iraq.  Would you support using military force against Iraq, or not?



                       Yes            No             DK

  Current Total        70             25             5              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         60             35             5              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         63             31             6              =100

  (10/24-25/02)        64             29             7              =100

  (10/11-12/02)        66             26             8              =100

  (9/26-27/02)         63             29             8              =100

  (9/12-13/02)         67             26             7              =100

  (8/28-29/02)         62             31             7              =100

  (4/25-26/02)         68             24             8              =100

  (12/13-14/01)        78             15             7              =100

  (10/11-12/01)        81             15             4              =100







  4.  Please tell me whether or not you would support the following kinds

       of U.S. military action against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. (First,)

       what about...(READ ITEMS IN ORDER)? (Would you support this kind of

       military action or not?)





  a.    Using air strikes against Iraq without any troops on the ground



                       Yes            No             DK





  Current Total        68             25             7              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         66             28             6              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         69             25             6              =100

  (10/10-11/02)        68             25             7              =100

  (9/26-27/02)         67             27             6              =100

  (9/12-13/02)         70             24             6              =100

  (8/28-29/02)         63             30             7              =100

  (11/29-30/01)        68             23             9              =100



  b.  Sending in commandos or special forces to capture Saddam Hussein or

       work with local anti-Saddam forces



  Current Total        77             19             4              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         71             24             5              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         72             23             5              =100

  (10/10-11/02)        70             21             9              =100

  (9/26-27/02)         72             21             6              =100

  (9/12-13/02)         76             19             5              =100

  (8/28-29/02)         70             23             7              =100

  (11/29-30/01)        74             19             7              =100



  c.  Sending in large numbers of U.S. ground troops to ensure control of

       the country



  Current Total        58             35             7              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         49             45             6              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         51             41             8              =100

  (10/10-11/02)        48             42             10             =100

  (9/26-27/02)         50             42             8              =100

  (9/12-13/02)         55             37             8              =100

  (8/28-29/02)         49             45             6              =100

  (11/29-30/01)        56             40             4              =100





  5.  Right now, which ONE of the following do you think is more important

       for the United States ... (READ)



   Current                                           1/23-24/03   1/16-17/03

   46        To move forward QUICKLY with military        32        35

             action as the only way to effectively

             deal with Iraq



   50        To take more time to try to achieve our 66        60

             goals in Iraq WITHOUT using military force



   4         Don't know                                   2         5

   100                                                    100       100





  6.  Please tell me if you would support or oppose U.S. military action

       against Iraq in each of the following circumstances.  (First,) what

       if ...  (INSERT-READ ITEMS IN ORDER)? (Would you support or oppose

       U.S. military action in this circumstance?)



                       Yes            No             DK



  a.  The United States JOINED TOGETHER with its major allies to attack

       Iraq, with the FULL SUPPORT of the United Nations Security Council



  Current Total        85             12             3              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         81             15             4              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         81             14             5              =100

  (1/3-6/03)           83             13             4              =100



  b.  The United States and ONE OR TWO of its major allies attacked Iraq,

       WITHOUT the support of the United Nations



  Current Total        50             44             6              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         40             53             7              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         39             52             9              =100

  (1/3-6/03)           47             45             8              =100



  c.  The United States ACTED ALONE in attacking Iraq, WITHOUT the support

       of the United Nations



  Current Total        37             59             4              =100



  Trends

  (1/23-24/03)         31             65             4              =100

  (1/16-17/03)         31             63             6              =100

  (1/3-6/03)           34             59             7              =100



  NOTE: Trend from 1/3-6/03 PSRA survey for Knight-Ridder newspapers.





  7.  What if taking military action against Iraq means keeping U.S.

       military forces in Iraq for FIVE YEARS after the fighting stops to

       help maintain order and establish a new government -- would you

       support or oppose U.S. military action?



        Current                       1/3-6/03

        60        Would support         66

        33        Would oppose          26

        7         Don't know            7

        100                             100





  NOTE: Trend from PSRA survey for Knight-Ridder newspapers.  Results based

         on a split form sample of 603 interviews.





  8.  What if U.N. weapons inspectors do NOT find evidence that Iraq has

       chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, but the Bush Administration

       says its intelligence reports indicate that Iraq DOES have such

       weapons.  Would you support or oppose U.S. military action in this

       circumstance?



        Current                       1/23-24/03     1/16-17/03

        60        Would support          52               54

        34        Would oppose           41               39

         6        Don't know              7                7

       100                              100               100





  9.  How much more time, if any, do you think the United States should give

       the U.N. weapons inspectors to continue looking for banned weapons in

       Iraq BEFORE taking any kind of military action...(READ)



        Current                                      1/23-24/03

        33        Less than a month                       20

        19        About a month                           16

        12        Several months                          16

         3        A full year                              2

        31        As much time as the U.N. weapons        41

                  inspectors think is necessary

         2        Don't know                               5

       100                                          100







  10.  From what you've seen or heard in the news, do you believe that

        Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq is harboring Al Qaeda terrorists and

        helping them to develop chemical weapons, or not?



        Current                                      9/26-27/02

        74        Yes, harboring/helping Al Qaeda         75

        13        No                                      12

        13        Don't know                              13

        100                                               100







  11.  Have you seen, heard, or read anything about Secretary of State Colin

        Powell's presentation to the United Nations this week making the

        case for possible war to disarm Iraq?



        77        Yes

        22        No

        1         Don't know

        100





  12.  In your opinion, how convincing is the evidence that Powell presented

        in making the case that...(INSERT-READ AND RANDOMIZE): very

        convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing, or not at all

        convincing?



        V         - Very convincing

        SW        - Somewhat convincing

        NA        - Not aware of Powell's presentation



                       V    SW   Not too   Not at all     NA   DK

  a.  Iraq has been hiding banned weapons materials from U.N. inspectors



        Current Total  46   23     4            2         23   2    =100



  b.    Iraq is actively supporting Al Qaeda terrorists



        Current Total  35   25     8            4         23   5    =100



  c.    Saddam Hussein poses an immediate danger to the world



        Current Total  41   21     8            4         23   3    =100







  13.  If the United States does take military action against Iraq, how do

        you think you would react when first hearing the news?  Do you think

        you would feel... (INSERT-READ AND RANDOMIZE), or not?



                       Yes       No        DK

        a. Excited



       Current Total   17        80        3         =100

       Trends-Total

       (1/23-24/03)    16        81        3         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    19        78        3         =100



       Men             23        73        4         =100

       Women           12        85        3         =100



       b. Pleased



       Current Total   33        61        6         =100

       Trends-Total

       (1/23-24/03)    29        66        4         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    30        65        5         =100



       Men             42        54        4         =100

       Women           26        67        7         =100



       c. Relieved



       Current Total   43        51        6         =100

       Trends-Total

       (1/23-24/03)    37        59        4         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    36        59        5         =100



       Men             51        43        6         =100

       Women           36        58        6         =100



       d. Disappointed



       Current Total   34        62        4         =100

       Trends-Total

       (1/23-24/03)    43        55        2         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    38        58        4         =100



       Men             29        67        4         =100

       Women           39        56        5         =100



       e. Upset



       Current Total   47        50        3         =100

       Trends-Total

       (1/23-24/03)    51        45        2         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    50        47        3         =100



       Men             30        66        4         =100

       Women           62        36        2         =100



                       Yes       No        DK

       f. Angry



       Current Total   23        73        4         =100

       Trends-Total

       (1/23-24/03)    30        67        3         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    28        68        4         =100



       Men             19        78        3         =100

       Women           27        68        5         =100



       g. Afraid



       Current Total   49        48        3         =100

       Trends-Total

       (1/23-24/03)    49        50        1         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    47        51        2         =100



       Men             30        67        3         =100

       Women           68        30        2         =100





  14.  If the United States takes military action against Iraq, do you

        think...(INSERT-READ ITEMS IN ORDER)?



                       Yes       No        DK

  a.  It would create serious divisions between the U.S. and its allies



       Current Total   53        38        9         =100



       Trends

       (1/23-24/03)    60        32        8         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    54        37        9         =100

       (9/12-13/02)    55        34        11        =100

       (2/19-20/98)    46        43        11        =100

       (11/97)         45        47        8         =100



  b.  It would cause serious problems for the U.S. throughout the Arab world



       Current Total   71        22        7         =100



       Trends

       (1/23/24/03)    72        19        6         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    74        20        6         =100

       (9/12-13/02)    70        22        8         =100

       (2/19-20/98)    55        35        10        =100



  c.  Iraq would retaliate by using biological or chemical weapons against

       Israel*



       Current Total   73        13        14        =100



       Trends

       (1/23/24/03)    71        16        13        =100

       (1/16-17/03)    68        16        16        =100

       (9/12-13/02)    72        16        12        =100

       (2/19-20/98)    67        22        11        =100





                       Yes       No        DK

  d.  Iraq would retaliate by using biological or chemical weapons against

       the United States



       Current Total   76        16        8         =100



       Trends

       (1/23/24/03)    72        20        8         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    71        20        9         =100

       (9/12-13/02)    69        24        7         =100

       (2/19-20/98)    60        32        8         =100



  e.  It would inspire terrorist attacks against American citizens**



       Current Total   86        10        4         =100



       Trends

       (1/23/24/03)    83        13        4         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    82        12        6         =100

       (9/12-13/02)    76        17        7         =100

       (2/19-20/98)    75        18        7         =100



  f.  It would start a peace or protest movement like the one during the

       time of the Vietnam War



       Current Total   62        28        10        =100



       Trends

       (1/23/24/03)    66        25        9         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    62        26        12        =100



  g.  It would lead to reinstatement of a military draft in this country



       Current Total   42        46        12        =100



       Trends

       (1/23/24/03)    51        42        7         =100

       (1/16-17/03)    50        40        10        =100





  *  February 1998 trend wording read " ... against Israel or another U.S.

      ally."



  **  February 1998 trend wording read " ... terrorist acts against American

       citizens."





  15.  If the U.S. takes military action against Iraq, how likely do you

        think it is that... (INSERT ITEMS--IN ORDER)?  (Is it very likely,

        somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?)



                       V    SW   Not too   Not at all     DK

  a.  Many U.S. pilots or other military personnel will be killed or taken

       prisoner*



     Current Total     38   37   16        5              4    =100



     Trends

(1/23-24/03) 38 40 15 4 3 =100

(1/16-17/03) 36 39 16 4 5 =100

(9/12-13/02) 37 41 15 3 4 =100

(2/19-20/98) 30 40 19 7 4 =100

  b.  Hundreds of Iraqi civilians will be killed or injured



     Current Total     68   23   5         1              3    =100



     Trends

(1/23-24/03) 70 22 4 1 3 =100

(1/16-17/03) 65 27 3 1 4 =100

(9/12-13/02) 64 26 5 2 3 =100

(2/19-20/98) 67 23 4 2 4 =100

  c.  Thousands of Iraqi civilians will be killed or injured



     Current Total     54   25   12        4              5    =100



     Trends

    (1/23-24/03)       57   24   11        4              4    =100

    (1/16-17/03)       55   26   12        2              5    =100

    (9/12-13/02)       55   25   12        3              5    =100

    (2/19-20/98)       58   24   8         4              6    =100



  *  February 1998 trend wording read "Many U.S. pilots or support personnel

      ... "





  16.  What if the U.S. does NOT take military action against Iraq?  If

        there is no U.S. military action, do you think... (INSERT ITEMS--IN

        ORDER)?



                       Yes       No        DK

  a.  Iraq would eventually use weapons of mass destruction against a

       neighboring country



    Current Total      75        14        11        =100



    Trends

    (1/23-24/03)       70        20        10        =100

    (1/16-17/03)       71        18        11        =100

    (9/12-13/02)       75        16        9         =100

    (2/19-20/98)       80        13        7         =100



  b.  Saddam Hussein would be instrumental in helping Al Qaeda terrorists

       carry out future attacks against the United states



    Current Total      83         9        8         =100



    Trends

    (1/23-24/03)       78        14        8         =100

    (1/16-17/03)       82        12        6         =100

    (9/12-13/02)       85        9         6         =100





  END OF INTERVIEW.  THANK RESPONDENT: That completes the interview. Thank

  you very much for your cooperation.

Source: ">Newsweek

 

war in iraq