Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Funds if Bush Issues Iraq Veto

The latest polling from Bloomberg news and the Los Angeles Times (.pdf) offers some fairly interesting data on the sentiments of American voters on the issue of Iraq.

Q49. As you may know, Democrats in both houses of Congress passed legislation that ties further funding of the war in Iraq to targeted dates for withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. Bush says he will veto any measure that sets such a timetable because he believes it would tie the hands of battlefield commanders and make defeat in Iraq more likely. Do you think that Bush should sign a funding authorization that includes a timetable for withdrawal, or should he veto that legislation?

AllRVsDEMINDGOP
Pass legislation4848744815
Veto It4344183980

Q50. If George W. Bush vetoes the legislation, do you think Congress should pass another version of the bill that provides funding for the war without any conditions for troop withdrawal, or should Congress refuse to pass any funding bill until Bush agrees to accept conditions for withdrawal?

AllRVsDEMINDGOP
Fund the war without
conditions
4344244073
Withhold funding until
Bush signs
4545664321

From this polling, it's clear that there is a real coalition behind ending the Iraq War -- even if it means dragging out the appropriations process until the President relents and accepts a timetable for the redeployment of American forces out of the country. To be clear, this polling does not show that there is an overwhelming mandate for such a course of action. Nonetheless, it does show that the Democrats have fairly strong backing (a plurality of registered voters, in fact) as they potentially move forward with aggressive steps to end American involvement in the war in Iraq.

Tags: 110th congress, Democrats, George W. Bush, Iraq, Polling on Iraq, Veto (all tags)

Comments

22 Comments

Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

   That first question is clearly biased.  The second one is not.  Why did the LA Times feel the need to put Bush's rhetoric into their first question?  It was totally unnecessary.

by cilerder86 2007-04-10 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

Because this way you know that even WITH a slanted question (and I personally don't see it as slanted but your mileage may vary) you STILL have more support for a deadline than to throw more people and money into the pit of Iraq.

by MNPundit 2007-04-10 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

   I think it's biased because it puts what Bush "believes" into the question.  They should ask people if they support the supplemental, giving a short description of the bill.  If the person being polled thinks withdrawal is equivalent with defeat then he/she will answer accordingly.  No need to suggest that defeat and withdrawal are equivalent in the question itself.

by cilerder86 2007-04-10 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

I know, I know, this is long-winded, but, no, I don't believe Question 1 puts what Bush "believes" into the question. Question 1 simply defines what his intentions were and bases these intentions on what can safely be regarded as his position on the matter.  Common sense and a familiarity with his speeches (and his "speech") tell us that this position is based on his "beliefs," which are all rooted in verifiable intelligence. I agree that the use of the word "believes" is unfortunate and reveals the vocabulary of the Question 1's writer, but I'm not convinced that it's a biased statement.  

I work for a public opinion firm. Surveys.  Believe me, there are a whole lot more biased responses than there are biased questions.  That's the way we like it.  We want opinions.  Hard as it is for you to believe, what you see in poll results is what really happened.   Give or take the +/- 3% error stuff.  Opinions change, sometimes day-to-day, sometimes depending on whether the respondent has had dinner or not.  Go figure, huh?

Bush does "believe" that the Democrats' funding stipulations would tie the hands of "commanders in the field" and he has also said that the Democrats plan would delay our soldiers returning home "to their loved ones."  Try to explicate that, you wanna explicate something.

How bringing the troops home could actually keep them from returning home is something only the Bush White House could explain.

by Jupiter 2007-04-10 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

   OK.  But why include the statement at all?  Why not just say what the bill does and let people draw their own conclusions?  Why not also include the Democrats' belief that this bill would cause a successful end to the war?  That's not in the question.

by cilerder86 2007-04-10 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

I think this poll question is problematic, but not due to political bias or the word "believes". The problem is the word "because".

My field is consumer research, and there's quite a bit of research indicating that people are more likely to agree with survey questions which contain the word "because" ("allow" and "forbid" are two other loaded words which can skew responses.)

Consider the following questions:

1. How likely do you think it is that the world will end tomorrow?
2. How likely do you think it is that the world will end tomorrow because of asteroid impact?

Even though scenario #1 is more likely, most people will rate #2 as more likely. The reason is that word "because", which is then followed by a specific, vivid scenario. This effect is called priming; it is thought to increase the mental activity surrounding an item, preactivating it in memory so that it is more likely to be seen or remembered.

by bcapps 2007-04-11 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

The media and McCain are going down the same delusional rabbit hole.  They cannot see that the times they are a changin. They are after the same tired 30% Republican base and totally ignore the 70% who support the Dems.

by changehorses08 2007-04-10 10:28PM | 0 recs
But, but, but. . .

I thought Armando was being an unrealistic purist!!

Pelosi, Levin, and Obama are way behind Reid, Feingold, and the American public on this.

by andgarden 2007-04-10 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

15% of Republicans want Bush to sign the current bill.

Yet, a full 21% of Republicans say if Bush vetoes it, the Democrats should refuse to pass any other funding bill.

These numbers are difficult to reconcile.  Do you think some Republicans want the Dems to withhold funding solely because they think the public will be angry?

by Steve M 2007-04-10 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

Yeah I noticed that too.  Something screwy there.

by responsible 2007-04-11 04:09AM | 0 recs
Filibuster

Dems may not have enough votes for veto override, but surely we can get 40 votes to filibuster a clean bill to show Bush he cannot get a blank check.  If 40 Dems would stand up and agree to filibuster any supplemental that did not have conditions, then Bush can veto all he wants but he can't win.

by bakho 2007-04-10 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster

Then it's a stand-off.  Nothing will get done.  Bush will be too stubborn to concede anything.

by jallen 2007-04-10 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster

The American people already perceive Bush as intransigent.  They know the Democratic Party is the party of the people.  Let them try to run on Family Values and Hollyweird this time. Its interesting that with all the money Obama has raised his poll numbers have not moved.  People are making their decision for 08 -- not based on who has raised the most money but who has the best ideas.  

by changehorses08 2007-04-10 10:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster

When you're in the majority, there's no need for a filibuster.

by andgarden 2007-04-10 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster

Everytime Bush vetoes a bill that the Dem congress passes and the American people want--The Republicans lose more votes.

by changehorses08 2007-04-10 10:30PM | 0 recs
Re: "accepts a timetable"

From this polling, it's clear that there is a real coalition behind ending the Iraq War -- even if it means dragging out the appropriations process until the President relents and accepts a timetable for the redeployment of American forces out of the country.

The president has been saying, for weeks on end, that he will never relent and accept a timetable for the redeployment of American forces from Iraq. If the money runs out, he will leave the troops there as sitting ducks.

Remember "You go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had?" Why do you think it would be any different with funding?

When President Bush says that cutting the funds off would hurt the troops, it's because he knows that he's leaving them there whether they're funded or not. He's been saying it, as plainly as he says anything, for over a month. You have this belief that just because it would be a disaster of unspeakable proportions that's easily foreseen, somehow that means George W. Bush wouldn't do it. He will, and he'll blame it on the Democrats. He seems to be looking forward to it.

I'm not saying he should get his way, but I'm genuinely confused as to why people aren't recognizing that the man has made it as plain as he can (which isn't very plain, I admit) that whether we send the troops armor and supplies or not, they're staying in Iraq. He will never withdraw them, and he's saying so every day.

Is there a single piece of evidence to suggest that George W. Bush believes that any number of U.S. casualties is "too high" for his mission to end? I haven't seen it.

by mdeatherage 2007-04-10 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

I'm starting to think that we should compromise on Iraq funding in order to gain a clear statement that Bush has to go to Congress before he invades Iran.

by Anthony de Jesus 2007-04-10 09:00PM | 0 recs
No 'mandate' for anything

I'm no polling expert. But I'm tempted to characterize the Iraq numbers in the LAT poll as all over the place.

Q 47 (Does a withdrawal timetable help/hurt troops?) shows a 50/27 overall for hurt: Dems are split 36/36; even Liberals only manage 41/33 in favor of helps.

And a withdrawal timetable is what both the House and Senate texts of the supplemental bill HR 1591 include.

So Sixpack favors (as Jonathan says, by a plurality) Congressional Dems hanging tough in the face of a veto; but he thinks the text they're hanging tough to support - stinks!

There must presumably be focus group work available (to the Dem leaderships, if not to us mortals) which teases out the 'real' state of voter opinion on Iraq legislative options.

But, based just on the LAT poll, I'm not surprised that Dem legislative manoeuvers on Iraq have been indecisive thus far. (These guys are risk-averse to a degree!)

by skeptic06 2007-04-10 10:52PM | 0 recs
The support is thinning

That support for Bush signing the legislation is awfully thin.  That 48-43 support margin is much small than the previous 59-39 support margins.

by Toddwell 2007-04-10 11:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

Soon the punditsphere will be telling us that most people want to impeach Bush too.

by Derek G 2007-04-11 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Plurality of Voters Want Dems to Withhold Fund

heh, i'll have to follow up on this one, given my post about two weeks ago.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-04-11 04:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Three months

IMHO, the Dems should make it clear that if Bush vetoes this bill, he will get a "three month" supplemental with no timetables, but with all of the "support the troops" provisions (i.e. money for veterans, no extended deployments or deployments of troops that are not fully rested, equipped, and retrained) in the existing bill.

This should back Bush into a corner -- he is getting what he says he wants (no timetables) while maintaining a means of ensuring accountability (plus, it forces GOP congresscritters to vote to support Bush's war again in three months.)

by plukasiak 2007-04-11 05:32AM | 0 recs

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