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37% of Americans still believe Iraq had WMDs

BUSINESS WIRE

November 11, 2008

Significant Minority Still Believe that Iraq Had Weapons of Mass Destruction When U.S. Invaded

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While a majority of U.S. adults believe that Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded in March 2003, surprisingly, a significant number of U.S. adults (37%) still believe today that Iraq had such weapons.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll«, a new nationwide survey of 1,010 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone between October 16 and 20, 2008 by Harris Interactive«.

Specifically, the survey finds:

  • By 55 to 37 percent, a majority is not confident that Iraq will be successful in developing a stable and reasonably democratic government. This has not changed since July 2006 when a 56 to 37 percent majority also felt this way.
  • Half (50%) adults agree that invading and occupying Iraq has motivated more Islamic terrorists to attack the United States. This is down significantly from 61% who felt this way in July 2006.
  • By 57 to 39 percent, a clear majority does not think that invading Iraq has helped to reduce the threat of another terrorist attack against the United States. This is similar to the 58 to 41 percent majority that felt this way in July 2006.

What the public believes to be true

U.S. adults believe that the following are true about the war in Iraq:

  • Seven in ten (70%) believe that the Iraqis are better off now than they were under Saddam Hussein (slightly down from July 2006 when 72% said this was true).
  • Fifty-two percent say it is true that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda (down significantly from 64% in July 2006).
  • Just under half (48%) think history will give the U.S. credit for bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq (down from 55% in July 2006).

So What?

Overall, as President Bush prepares to leave office in January attitudes toward the war in Iraq remain negative even though there have been signs of progress in that country. Less than half of the U.S. population believes that the threat of terrorism has been reduced. Furthermore, while many U.S. adults believe that Iraqis are better off now than they were under Saddam Hussein, many are also not confident that Iraqĺs government will eventually become stable.

Methodology

The Harris Poll« was conducted by telephone within the United States between October 16 and 20, 2008 among a nationwide cross section of 1,010 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, education, number of adults, number of voice/telephone lines in the household, region and size of place were weighted where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Full data tables and methodology for this study are available at www.harrisinteractive.com.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

J35169

Q705, Q710, Q715

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Harris Interactive Inc. 11/08


Contact:
Harris Interactive Inc.
Corporate Communications, 585-272-8400

press@harrisinteractive.net

Source: Harris Interactive Inc.


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