Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Bouncing Ball Loses its Bounce

This would get Snoopy dancing all over again. Dan Froomkin on the two recent polls about withdrawal from Iraq.

Call it a tale of two questions.

A Gallup/USA Today poll finds a clear majority -- 57 percent -- of Americans supporting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq; while a Washington Post/ABC News poll finds only a narrow minority -- 47 -- percent in favor.

How can that be?

Well, look at the wording.

Here's the Gallup question: "Which comes closer to your view? Congress should pass a resolution that outlines a plan for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq (or) decisions about withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq should be left to the president and his advisers?"

In other words: Should Congress propose a timetable, or just leave it all up to Bush?

Here's the Post question, with my emphasis: "Some people say the Bush administration should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. military forces from Iraq in order to avoid further casualties . Others say knowing when the U.S. would pull out would only encourage the anti-government insurgents . Do you yourself think the United States should or should not set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq?"

That's awfully close to: Are you in favor of cutting and running? What's amazing is that 47 percent of Americans said yes.
Yes it is, actually.

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