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October 18, 2007

Poll: Americans "Less Pessimistic" About Iraq

Check out this opening sentence:

Whether because of the news from Iraq, or the messages from the White House, Americans are less pessimistic than they were about the future prospects in Iraq.

Annoying. The writer seems to be alleging there are two reasons to be more optimistic about Iraq: Actual facts flowing from the country or happy spin from the White House. As it's mostly Republicans, of course, who have increased support for the war, it seems implicit that we're drooling imbeciles who are "poor, uneducated, and easily led" as the Washington Post once stated.

The opening seems to want to remain agnostic on whether there actually is verifiable good news coming from Iraq, something that even the Washington Post, again, had to admit was true. And yet so as not to discomfit liberal readers, the writer pretends he's not quite sure there is good news coming out of Iraq, and this might just be a PR surge in opinion.

It's also annoying because the press has been doing its level-best not to report the news from Iraq, now that the news has turned hopeful. Do I detect a bit of resentment that the news managed to leak out at all?

The percentage of those who believe that things are getting better for U.S. troops has increased from 13 percent in March and 20 percent in August to 25 percent now.

Those who believe things are getting worse have fallen from 55 percent in January and 51 percent in March to only 32 percent in this new Harris Poll.

In May, only nine percent believed the surge of new troops was working; that has now almost doubled to a (still very modest) 17 percent . However, several other key indicators have not changed significantly. Two in five still believe that the surge is not working - 38 percent in May and 40 percent now.

These are some of the results of a Harris Poll of 2,565 adults surveyed online between Oct. 9 and 15, 2007 by Harris Interactive(R).

One thing that has not changed is the perception of President Bush's job performance on Iraq. Three in ten Americans (29 percent) give President's Bush positive ratings on his handling of Iraq while two-thirds (67 percent ) give him negative ratings. These numbers have been holding steady since the spring.

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posted by Ace at 03:01 PM

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