Iraqis get polled, too


Geraldine Sealey
April 29, 2004 6:36PM (UTC)

Gallup just released a massive public opinion poll from Iraq -- 3,444 70-minute, in-home, in-person interviews with a nationally representative sample of Iraqis in 350 separate locations throughout the country in late March and early April 2004, Gallup says.

From the poll report: While 61% of all Iraqis believe that Saddam Hussein's ouster was "worth" any hardships they have personally suffered since the invasion, opinion is sharply divided on whether the country itself is better off. Forty-two percent believe the country is in a better situation than before the invasion (31% "somewhat better off," 11% "much better off"), but nearly as many (39%) hold a contrary assessment (24% "somewhat worse off," 15% "much worse off"). Similarly, the third of Iraqis (33%) who say the coalition invasion of Iraq has "done more good than harm" are offset by a larger proportion (46%) who say that thus far, the invasion has "done more harm than good."

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Furthermore, sentiment often divides sharply along ethnic and sectarian lines. For example, members of Iraq's Kurdish minority are overwhelmingly likely (87%) to view the country as better off now (somewhat: 51%, much: 36%). However, only a third of Iraq's ethnic Arabs (33%) share this positive appraisal (somewhat better off: 27%, much better off: 5%).

Similarly, perspectives and perceptions in overwhelmingly Sunni areas can differ dramatically from those in strongly Shiite areas. One particularly stark example is the fact that nearly three-quarters (74%) of those in overwhelmingly Shiite provinces and neighborhoods believe that the ouster of Hussein was "worth" any subsequent hardships, while only about a quarter (28%) of those in heavily Sunni areas share this assessment.


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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