Zogby: Overwhelming Majority of Troops Favor Withdrawal from Iraq

Kevin Zeese popped me an e-mail this morning with the heads-up about an article he will be publishing later today. It stems from this NYT article by Nicholas Kristoff which indicates that 72% of American troops think they should be withdrawn within a year. For some reason, I can’t access my TimesSelect account at the moment (I’m on the road right now), so I’ll provide the pertinent blockquote from Think Progress:

A new poll to be released today shows that U.S. soldiers overwhelmingly want out of Iraq and soon. The poll is the first of U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq, according to John Zogby, the pollster. Conducted by Zogby International and LeMoyne College, it asked 944 service members, “How long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?” Only 23 percent backed Mr. Bush’s position that they should stay as long as necessary. In contrast, 72 percent said that U.S. troops should be pulled out within one year. Of those, 29 percent said they should withdraw “immediately.”

According to Zeese, Zogby will be releasing the poll later today. The devil is always in the details, and I don’t yet know the exact wording of the survey questions, how many of the troops polled are reservists or National Guard, how many of them have been deployed to Iraq, etc. These sorts of issues may end up being the spin spouted by the neocons (spoon fed by O’Reilly and Limbaugh, of course). This said, the poll has the potential to become very politically significant over the next few months.

UPDATE: The Zogby results are here. They answer a lot of the questions I asked. Prediction: The hawks will start saying that Marines are “real soldiers” while reservists and National Guard are not.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. There is a good side to this poll – finally we see that the troops aren’t buying the nonsense about “staying the course”. The pole also says that 42% say the US mission is “hazy”, that the troops think the insurgents are “homegrown” and don’t blame the Iraqi public for insurgent attacks, and most troops oppose harsh prisoner interrogation.

    Unfortunately, our troops ARE buying OTHER Bush propaganda…

    Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11

    Apparently the Fox News and Rush Limbaugh on Arms Forces Broadcasting is working exactly as planned – deluding our troops, confusing them and flat out lying to them. 90 percent??? Wow!


  2. I would say that 994 out of how many troops is not a big enough pool to draw from.

    Actually, that is quite good. It’s not uncommon for polls with sample sizes of around 1000 to represent the ENTIRE COUNTRY, and still have margins of error under 5%.

  3. Joseph,

    944 is a BIG sample, when you consider that only 130,000 or so troops are in Iraq. You’ll often see statewide and even nationwide polls using samples of 500-1000 out of target populations of millions.

    Tom Knapp

  4. The consersative blog “Red State” hasn’t made mention of the poll. It’s likely that the avoidance will continue until they’ve decided upon a spin strategy.

  5. The consersative blog “Red State” hasn’t made mention of the poll. It’s likely that the avoidance will continue until they’ve decided upon a spin strategy.

    This has already begun. Bushites are:

    1) Dismissing it “push polling”
    2) Saying the questions are biased
    3) Claiming the answers misinterpreted
    4) Accusing Zogby of having a pro-Islam anti-Bush bias
    5) Dismissing the “Center for Peace and Global Studies”
    6) Accusing Zogby of flat out lying
    7) Saying that “Zogby IS an Arab”, so the poll is wrong
    8) Questioning the methodology
    9) Implying that the troops who answered aren’t on the front lines, so their views don’t matter

    And those are all just from one forum post! I’ve no doubt you’ll see much more of this type of spin very soon.

  6. And of course, dont forget the IES, by which the LP was out in front of public opinion and had the anti war playing field all to itself for at least 6 months. I wish we had had the money and talent to do something with it instead of letting it rot.

    At least the first foray into actual political involvement in the LP’s recent history made the sharp distinction between those in the LP that get politics and those who dont pretty damn clear.