ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest Harris Poll conducted
following the recent elections in Iraq finds that on many aspects U.S. adults
have not changed their basic views about Iraq with one important exception:
The number of adults who favor bringing troops home in the next year has
increased significantly to its highest level since October 2003 when Harris
Interactive(R) first measured the public's opinions on this issue.
Specifically, almost six in 10 (59%) adults now favor bringing most troops
home in the next year and 39 percent favor keeping a large number of troops in
Iraq until there is a stable government there. In November, less than half
(47%) favored bringing troops home and half (50%) favored keeping troops in
However, the public remains split on whether the invasion of Iraq
strengthened (46%) or weakened (48%) the war on terrorism.
These are some of the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 1,012 U.S.
adults surveyed by telephone by Harris Interactive between February 8 and 13,
On other issues concerning Iraq, the attitudes of large majorities of the
public have not changed significantly in the past few months.
-- 88 percent of U.S. adults believe that Saddam Hussein would have made
weapons of mass destruction if he could have (down slightly from 90% in
-- 76 percent believe that the Iraqis are better off now than they were
under Saddam Hussein (same as November).
-- 64 percent believe that history will give the U.S. credit for bringing
freedom and democracy to Iraq (up slightly from 63% in November).
-- 64 percent believe that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda (up
slightly from 62% in November).
-- 61 percent believe that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a serious
threat to U.S. security (down slightly from 63% in November).
More surprising perhaps are the large numbers (albeit not majorities) who
believe the following claims not made by the president and which virtually no
experts believe to be true:
-- 47 percent believe that Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the
hijackers who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001 (up six
percentage points from November).
-- 44 percent actually believe that several of the hijackers who attacked
the U.S. on September 11 were Iraqis (up significantly from 37% in
-- 36 percent believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the
U.S. invaded (down slightly from 38% in November).
Another interesting finding is that only 46 percent believe that Saddam
Hussein was prevented from developing weapons of mass destruction by the U.N.
weapons inspectors, a fact which most reports now support.
FAVOR KEEPING LARGE NUMBER OF U.S. TROOPS IN IRAQ OR BRINGING MOST HOME IN
"Do you favor keeping a large number of U.S. troops in Iraq until there is a
stable government there OR bringing most of our troops home in the next year?"
Base: All Adults
Oct. Feb. April June Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. NOW
2003 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004
% % % % % % % % %
Favor keeping a
large number of
U.S. troops in
Iraq until there
is a stable
government there 46 45 42 39 40 38 47 50 39
most of our
troops home in
the next year 47 51 51 56 54 54 50 47 59
Not sure/Refused 7 4 8 6 5 7 3 2 1
NOTE: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding.
DID INVASION OF IRAQ STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN WAR ON TERROR?
"Do you think the invasion of Iraq strengthened or weakened the war on
Base: All Adults
June Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. NOW
2004 2004 2004 2004 2004
% % % % % %
Strengthened the war on
terrorism 52 50 43 52 48 46
Weakened the war on terrorism 38 40 41 45 48 48
Not sure/Refused 10 10 16 3 4 6
WHAT PUBLIC BELIEVES TO BE TRUE
"Do you believe that the following statements are true or not true?"
(Total percentages saying "true")
Base: All Adults
Saddam Hussein would have made weapons
of mass destruction if he could have. 90 88
The Iraqis are better off now than
they were under Saddam Hussein. 76 76
History will give the U.S. credit for
bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq. 63 64
Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a serious
threat to U.S. security. 63 61
Saddam Hussein had strong links with Al Qaeda. 62 64
Saddam Hussein was prevented from developing
weapons of mass destruction by United Nations'
weapons inspectors. 45 46
Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the
hijackers who attacked the U.S. on
September 11, 2001. 41 47
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when
the U.S. invaded. 38 36
Several of the hijackers who attacked the
U.S. on September 11 were Iraqis. 37 44
The Harris Poll(R) was conducted by telephone within the United States
between February 8 and 13, 2005 among a nationwide cross section of 1,012
adults aged 18 and over. Figures for age, sex, race, education, number of
adults, number of voice/telephone lines in the household, region and size of
place were weighted where necessary to align them with their actual
proportions in the population.
In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95
percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3
percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult population
had been polled with complete accuracy. Unfortunately, there are several other
possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that are probably more
serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. They include refusals
to be interviewed (nonresponse), question wording and question order,
interviewer bias, weighting by demographic control data and screening (e.g.,
for likely voters). It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result
from these factors.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
Council on Public Polls.
Q462, Q465, Q485
The Harris Poll(R) #14, February 18, 2005
By David Krane, senior vice president of Harris Interactive Public Policy
research and editor of The Harris Poll.
About Harris Interactive(R)
Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th
largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester,
N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting
with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and
application. Known for The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering Internet-based
research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research
to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and
technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned
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To become a member of the Harris Poll Online(SM) and be invited to
participate in future online surveys, visit http://www.harrispollonline.com.
Harris Interactive, Inc. 2/05
SOURCE Harris Interactive