A new nationwide
PIPA/Knowledge Networks poll finds that 68% continue
to approve of the decision to go to war with Iraq.
President Bush gets high marks for his leadership,
with 74% saying that he is showing strong leadership
in dealing with the situation in Iraq. Fifty-eight
percent believe that "as a result of having won
the war with Iraq...President Bush is...in a stronger
position to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
At the same time,
despite the success of the war, only about half
say they approve of the decision itself, as opposed
to supporting the President. Fifty-three percent
said, "I support having gone to war, because I
think it was the best thing for the US to do,"
while another 15% said, "I am not sure if going
to war was the best thing to do, but I support
Bush's decision, because he is the president."
This represents no change from when Gallup, Pew
and others asked this question during the war.
Also, only 50%
said that they were somewhat (29%) or very (21%)
certain that "when the US government presented
the evidence to justify going to war with Iraq,
it was "not being misleading." Another 5% said
they were not very certain. Thirty percent said
they were somewhat (19%) or very (11%) certain
that the government was being misleading; another
9% said they were not very certain of this.
At this point,
a majority of 57% say they believe that Iraq did
have weapons of mass destruction at the beginning
of the war, while 38% believe Iraq did not (18%),
or are not sure (20%).
Among those who
believe that Iraq did not have weapons of mass
destruction, 84% believe that the administration
was being misleading, rather than assuming that
the administration simply made a mistake. Even
among those who are unsure about whether Iraq
had such weapons, 56% believe that the administration
was being misleading. This suggests that if weapons
are not found, and Americans become less certain
that Iraq had such weapons, the percentage saying
that the administration was being misleading could
well become a majority.
The poll was
conducted with a nationwide sample of 1,265 respondents
May 14-18. The margin of error was plus or minus
3-4%, depending on whether the question was administered
to the whole sample or half the sample.
The poll was
fielded by Knowledge Networks using its nationwide
panel, which is randomly selected from the entire
adult population and subsequently provided internet
access. For more information about this methodology,
Funding for this
research was provided by the Rockefeller Brothers
Fund and the Ford Foundation.