AP-Ipsos Asks Bush's Question On Iraq
by Chris Bowers, Fri Aug 26, 2005 at 08:57:42 AM EDT
Should the United States keep troops in Iraq until the situation has stabilized, or should the United States bring its troops home from Iraq immediately? (Results from June 2005 in parentheses)
--Keep troops in Iraq until the situation has stabilized, 60 percent (59)
--Bring its troops home from Iraq immediately, 37 percent (37)
--Not Sure, 3 (4)
Harris, one of the few organizations that does not carry Bush's water on the withdrawal debate, shows how ridiculous the immediate withdrawal question, asked by many other polling firms, has become:The Harris Poll. Aug. 9-16, 2005. N=1,217 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"Do you favor keeping a large number of U.S. troops in Iraq until there is a stable government there OR bringing most of our troops home in the next year?"
Wait Bring Home 8/16/05 36 61 6/12/05 33 63 4/10/05 40 60 2/13/05 39 59 11/14/04 50 47Amazing, isn't it? Once the those people who favor a gradual withdrawal over the next year or two are no longer grouped with the "stay as long as it takes" position, "stay as long as it takes" loses its majority status. A real shocker, that.
The absurdity of the "immediate" withdrawal question, as currently asked by AP-Ipsos and others, is that it groups positions such as the one held by Russ Feingold, who favors gradual withdrawal over the next sixteen months, in with the Bush position, "stay as long as it takes." However, the Harris question more accurately groups the total and gradual withdrawal positions together, as it also groups the "stay a really long time" and "stay as long it it takes" positions together. By lumping the Feingold position and the Bush position together, polling firms like AP-Ipsos are, not surprisingly, able to find a majority opposed to immediate and total withdrawal. However, by offering an actual date, Harris more accurately groups the total withdrawal and gradual withdrawal positions together. Thus, they are able to reveal the enormous, pro-withdrawal majority in this country that other polling firms have concealed.
Note to all other polling firms: stop equating gradual withdrawal with "stay as long as it takes." Not only is that absurd, that simply helps Bush paint a popular middle ground, gradual withdrawal over the next year or two, as non-existent, and all of those in favor of withdrawal as extremists. The current question you are asking hides the popularity of the progressive middle ground from the public. You have a responsibility to not distort public opinion like this.