Sunday, July 20, 2008

Moving the Polls: Iraq Withdrawal

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

When we examine the crosstabs, we find over and over that a lot of America prefers John McCain on Iraq.


But now, it turns out that the Iraqis are behind Obama’s plan to withdraw troops in 16 months. Most Americans don’t read Der Spiegel, so this might have flown below the radar, except that the White House disseminated it to everyone on their external press release list, instead of the intended internal press release list.

The quote, from Iraqi PM al-Maliki is:

"US presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
Now we can watch the “Iraq” question in all the polls. Because now the question is not “who do you think would better handle Iraq” but instead “Since the Iraqis want us to leave, should we accept the request of a sovereign government that we have set up, or should we ignore that government and be an on-going occupying force?”

OK, I made that up, pollsters won’t likely ask that question, because most polls don’t use the words “sovereign” and “occupying” – but they will find a way to dumb down the question. They will poll on whether or not the fact that Iraqis want us out affects respondents’ view of what we should do in Iraq.