AP Poll: Military Kin Likelier to Back War

An Associated Press poll found that, while a majority of Americans now oppose the war, those who are close to someone who has served in it were more likely to support it. Also, over 90 percent support the right of people to protest the war, although Republicans like it less than Democrats.

AP Poll: Military Kin Likelier to Back War

People with friends or relatives serving in Iraq are more likely than others to have a positive view of a generally unpopular war, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Some of those surveyed said their relationships with troops helped them learn more about what’s going on in Iraq beyond the violence. Others said their opinions of the war were shaped by a sense of loyalty to those in harm’s way.

A solid majority of those who did not know anyone in Iraq said they thought the war was a mistake, 61 percent, compared to 36 percent who thought it was the right decision. Those who had a relative or friend there were almost evenly split, 49 percent right decision, 47 percent mistake.

[…]

Those who know someone serving in Iraq were more likely to approve of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war — 44 percent, compared to 37 percent overall. “From most of the information I get, the people over there fighting basically are proud to be there and feel they’re doing something good,” said Sally Dowling, a bank employee from Mesa, Ariz., who said her boss’s son is serving in Iraq. “That brings it home more than if I didn’t know anybody.”

[…]

Overall attitudes about the war — while negative — haven’t changed dramatically through the summer. A solid majority, 60 percent, want U.S. troops to stick it out until Iraq is stable. The poll found that 58 percent of people disapprove of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war and consider it a mistake. Half believe the war increases the threat of terrorism. Democrats overwhelmingly question the president’s policies, while Republicans overwhelmingly support them.

Among the strongest supporters of President Bush’s handling of the war were Republicans and evangelicals, men and especially suburban men. Those most likely to feel the Iraq war was the right decision were whites, especially younger whites, those with some college or a college degree, Southerners, suburbanites, Protestants and Republicans.

An overwhelming number of people say critics of the Iraq war should be free to voice their objections. Nearly three weeks after a grieving California mother named Cindy Sheehan started her anti-war protest near Bush’s Texas ranch, nine of 10 people surveyed in the AP-Ipsos poll say it’s OK for war opponents to share publicly their concerns about the conflict. The poll found that Republicans are the most likely to disapprove of people voicing opposition to the war.

These results aren’t particularly surprising. One would presume that those whose friends and family members are taking huge risks for the war would be more inclined to believe–or want to believe–it was for a good cause. Further, they are more likely to get the “good news” from Iraq than those who merely pay attention to the drip-drip-drip of daily bombing reports through the media.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Public Opinion Polls
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Herb says:

    I don’t think the US has ever been involved in a war that there hasn’t been a number of people around that did not oppose it. It seems to me that we are always going to have those who want and enjoy the freedoms we have,that also want someone else to “do their fighting for them”, so they can enjoy those freedoms. Today we see them rant, rave, carry signs and chant anti was slogans without a thought given to those who are harmed by their rhetoric. They are all “experts” in foreign policy, prisoners rights, wartime intelligence, all matters of state as well as a host of other issues. They gather at well planned locations that will give them the maximum media coverage knowing full well that most of the dummies from the media will accommodate them. They have no concerns about those who are making the ultimate sacrifice protecting their “rights”. and most of all, they forget 9/11. They just want their fifteen minutes of fame. And Cindy Sheehan, when the lefty kooks get done with her, she well return to an empty home without friends, family and a mother and husband that doesn’t want anything to do with her. She will be a very lonely person and the anti war protesters will go on to the next idiot that will support their cause.
    As for all the polls, Well, figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

  2. RiverRat says:

    The new AP-Ipsos poll shows support for Bush’s performance on the Iraq War down to 37%.

    If that number gets you down, just consider Questions 2a.-d. How seriously can we take a survey in which 50% of the respondents are Democrats and only 37% of the respondents are Republicans? (Honestly, I have no idea how the AP gets away with this stuff.)

    Also curious is Question 6: “Do you think it is okay for people who oppose the war in Iraq to express their opposition publicly, or not?” Not surprisingly, 87% said yes. I would have said yes, too. What a stupid question.

    This poll is a scandal.

  3. DC Loser says:

    Also curious is Question 6: Do you think it is okay for people who oppose the war in Iraq to express their opposition publicly, or not? Not surprisingly, 87% said yes. I would have said yes, too. What a stupid question.

    You wouldn’t think the question is that riduculous if you’ve been reading the comments on this and other blogs.

  4. McGehee says:

    You wouldn’t think the question is that riduculous if you’ve been reading the comments on this and other blogs.

    Right. We’ve all been suppressing your right to make ridiculous comments, hence the fact that you didn’t make that ridiculous comment.

  5. DC Loser says:

    Slow day, huh?