In the polls


Geraldine Sealey
April 16, 2004 10:49PM (UTC)

It appears the president's primetime performance on Iraq was convincing for at least some Americans. On the two nights following his Tuesday press conference, 45 percent say the U.S. is safer today than it was before 9/11, and 40 percent disagree, according to Rasmussen Reports. That's a six-point improvement compared to public opinion before the Press Conference when 41 percent said the U.S. was safer and 42 percent said it was not. Nearly 60 percent say it is somewhat or very likely that the U.S. mission in Iraq will succeed, similar to before the press conference.

One-quarter of Americans say Iraq is our biggest problem, according to this Gallup poll, up from 11 percent one month ago. But the economy is still on top of the worry list at 43 percent. Thirteen percent say terrorism is the most important problem.

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John Kerry is the fave presidential candidate of the college crowd. Harvard researchers say Kerry leads Bush 48 percent to 38 percent among college students. Nader got 5 percent.

New Yorkers just love Hillary Clinton, a new poll shows, after starting her Senate term with basement-level approval ratings.

The Progress Report asked its readers (you may recall) to help President Bush name his biggest national security mistake since taking office. 22,000 responses later, the results are:

1. Invading Iraq without a plan for the aftermath, 34.09%
2. Focusing on missile defense while ignoring repeated warnings of an imminent al Qaeda attack before 9/11, 32.55%
3. Telling the American people that Iraq definitely possessed WMD, 26.34%
4. Failing to send U.S. troops into Tora Bora to capture Osama bin Laden in November 2001, 5%
5. Disparaging Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki when he said more troops would be needed in Iraq, 1.71%


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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