Monday, March 19, 2007

Two New Surveys, Two Different Results

Two new opinion polls conducted in the last month were released today. One conducted by the BBC and ABC found the Iraqi people to be quite pessimistic.

Of the 2000 Iraqis questioned:
40% of those polled said things were good in their lives (compared to 71% two years ago)

58% overall said they wanted Iraq to remain a unified country

18% said they had confidence in US and coalition troops

35% said foreign troops should leave Iraq now

63% said they should go only after security has improved

A BBC analysis of this poll can be found here

The Sunday Times carries a poll which suggests that a majority of Iraqis think life is getting better.

Of the 5000 Iraqis surveyed:
27% think there is a civil war in Iraq

49% of those questioned preferred life under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, to living under Saddam

64% of Iraqis still want to see a united Iraq under a central national government

35% said a family member had left the country.

26% of Iraqis have had a family member murdered

It really speaks volumes that though 1 in 4 Iraqis have had a family member murdered and 1 in 3 have had a family member leave the country presumably due to the violence, nearly 50% still think life is better now than it was under Saddam. Do note that the BBC finds that Iraqis are becoming increasingly pessimistic. Hard to determine why there is such a discrepancy, but you should note that the Times poll did have a much larger sample size (5000 compared to 2000).


Elliott said...

It's not just a matter of sample size. The BBC used biased reporting to distort the results of their own poll (Iraq poll coverage)!

Of course we should be deeply concerned about the situation in Iraq. But unless the views of Iraqis are addressed as they really are, not as the unmitigated disaster we feel them to be, the latter view could very well become self-fulfilling.

Matteo Tomasini said...

thanks for the link. some good analysis. However I might also add that regardless of how discouraging these polls are, they are likely still more positive than they should be.

There are parts of Iraq that are too dangerous for these polling firms to visit. So while you may have a poll worker going into a dangerous area like Ramadi, rarely do they visit the more dangerous neighborhoods. Can't blame the poll workers, but you do get a skewed result.

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