Monday, December 15, 2003

Very interesting results from an instant Washington Post/ABC poll:

At least initially, the capture did not do much to change the overall shape of opinion on the war in Iraq.

Roughly 2 in 3 respondents said Hussein's capture would be at least somewhat helpful in ending attacks on U.S. troops and contributing to Americans' long-term security, although only 15 to 23 percent thought the arrest would "help a great deal." Larger percentages were hopeful the news would help restore stability to Iraq.

Nine in 10 Americans said big challenges still face the United States in Iraq, with fewer than 1 in 10 saying Hussein's capture would resolve the hurdles facing U.S. troops. Eight in 10 rejected the notion that with the former Iraqi president in custody, the United States should withdraw its forces from the country....

The public remains deeply divided as to whether "the war with Iraq was worth fighting," with 53 percent agreeing it was, and 42 percent saying it was not -- unchanged from last month.

...Meanwhile, more Americans say the war in Iraq is going worse than expected (27 percent) than say it is going better than expected (14 percent)....

And Bush's overall approval rating went up to just 57%, from 53%.

All the numbers are here.

I do think that polls taken within the next couple of days might show better numbers for Bush -- quite possibly because the Bushies will be trying to spread the "big victory for Bush" meme, and Beltway reporters will dutifully repeat the phrase. Then ordinary citizens will know what the "right answer" is and repeat it to pollsters when called.

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