Iraq War Polls

Iraq War Polls Kevin Drum notes a strange paradox in the public opinion polling on Iraq:

[I]n every poll taken for the past three years, we’ve seen basically the same results: (a) a majority wants to leave Iraq within one or two years, and (b) almost nobody wants to leave right now. So where will all those people who want to leave within a year or two be when pollsters ask this question again in 2008? Most likely answer: they’ll still want to leave within a year or two and they still won’t want to leave right now.

I think that’s right. Essentially, people hold two contradictory thoughts in their head on this one:

  1. They want American soldiers to stop getting killed now.
  2. They don’t want to lose the war, even if they think getting in was a mistake.

So long as there’s hope of winning — however one defines that — the second will continue to trump the first.

Photo: China Daily/Reuters via Google Images.

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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    You forgot option # 3–prompted by the photo.

    People want the war over, but they still like having opportunities for hippy broads to go shirtless during anti-war rallies.

  2. Anderson says:

    What’s behind the young lady’s call for impeachment? I’d like to know!

  3. Boyd says:

    Umm…peaches, maybe?

  4. FireWolf says:

    Hey, that’s Hot Donna from “That’s 70’s Show”!

    Ok, maybe not, but, what a set of twins eh?