Poll: Iraq was a mistake, race virtual tie


Stephen W. Stromberg
June 25, 2004 1:22AM (UTC)

A just-released USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll shows a tight horserace, an extremely polarized electorate -- and a majority that says invading Iraq was a mistake. In a two-way race, Bush wins -- but well within the margin of error -- 49 percent of likely voters to Kerry's 48 percent. In the same poll, Kerry led Bush by 6 points at the beginning of June. With Nader in the race, Bush maintains a one-point lead over Kerry 48 to 47 percent; Nader scrapes by with 3 percent. But Kerry's numbers are better among registered voters and all adults.

43 percent of likely voters say that there is no chance they would vote for President Bush. Kerry's number is practically identical -- 44 percent say they would never vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee. That's 87 percent of likely voters saying their votes are already locked in.

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Bush gets a 48 percent approval rating in this survey, with 49 percent of respondents disapproving of the way the president is doing his job. 50 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy, and 56 percent disapprove of the job he is doing in Iraq. But 54 percent continue to stick by the president on his terrorism policy, despite the fact that 55 percent of respondents think that the war in Iraq has made America less safe from terrorism.

51 percent of those surveyed thought that it was not worth invading Iraq. 54 percent said the war was a mistake. The poll also reveals that the only other conflict in the last half century to have a majority of Americans against it at any time was Vietnam.


Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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