Do Most Americans want to pull out of Iraq?
President Bush’s favorability rating has hit traditional lows for a lame-duck president. Congress’s approvals are pretty much where they always are, which is pretty miserable. However, a LOT of people are saying this proves we need to be out of Iraq whether it means cutting and running, handing an entire country and military over to terrorists, or allowing chaos to totally overwhelm the entire Middle East.
I got a real problem with all this assuming.
I subscribe(d) to a polling service called Vizu. Basically anyone can make a poll for any reason they like. I make them all the time. I love polls. However, polls are dangerous. Vizu IMO very clearly illustrates why. If you search on Vizu for “the war in Iraq”, you’ll get about 40+ polls. Some worded differently, many worded exactly the same. The most commonly worded one is “Do you support the war in Iraq?” Now, before I get to the result, think about how it’s worded. Who really wants a war anywhere? Pretty stupid question if you ask me. There’s only a hand full of people on this planet who really “want” a war. There are some who want to support out troops, so they’ll read the question a little differently. There are some who understand why we’re there, so they’ll support it. But, in order to justify answering that question positively, you have to add something to the question. So, actually I’m kind of surprised that that question merits only on average about 70% of the respondents “against” a war. Any war. The way it’s worded, Iraq is “just” a war.
Then there are polls worded a little differently, “Is the war pointless”. Now, along with that 71% that are against “the war in Iraq”, 72% think the war in Iraq is pointless. What that tells me is 72%, which is amazingly similar to 71%, don’t have a clue what’s going. And, I’ll bet, 72% don’t want to. Because if they did, they’d probably feel more compelled to support the war in Iraq. And, most people don’t want to support a war. Any war.
I think those numbers are fairly constant across the US. No one wants to support a war. So, the media, and some vested political interests, take each and every single poll they can, and connect the dots that since Bush’s ratings are so low, it’s BECAUSE people are against a very specific war. In order for that to be true, those 70% would have had to have been neutral at some point, and switched their minds at some point. That’s not what’s happening here folks. Sure, some have, but IMO what is happening is the media in general have appealed to a prevailing sentiment of people not wanting to “support” any way, and applying that to a specific circumstance that is Iraq. They’re push-polling and trying to affect national issues with the results they push.
Now, what would happen, do you think, if that question were asked a little differently? It applies to the exact same circumstance, only it’s more specific.
12/07/12 update: Vizu has dropped their online polling.