Articles and Analysis


US: Obama, Iraq (CNN 9/1-2)

Topics: National , poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
9/1-2/10; 1,024 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)


Obama Job Approval
50% Approve, 49% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 84 / 14 (chart)
Reps: 10 / 89 (chart)
Inds: 45 / 54 (chart)
Economy: 40 / 59 (chart)
Iraq: 57 / 41
Afghanistan: 48 / 47
Terrorism: 50 / 47

Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?
34% Favor, 65% Oppose

All in all, do you think the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, or not?
37% Worth it, 62% Not worth it

As you know, all U.S. combat troops have been removed from Iraq but 50,000 troops will remain in
a non-combat role until next year. Which of the following statements comes closest to your view:

28% This was the right time for the U.S. to remove its combat troops
40% The U.S. should have removed combat troops before now
25% The U.S. should remove combat troops at a future date, but keep them in Iraq now
6% The U.S. should keep combat troops in Iraq permanently

Based on what you have heard or read about the events in Iraq over the past few weeks, do you
think that for all intents and purposes, the war in Iraq is over, or not? Would you describe the war in Iraq as a victory for the U.S., a defeat for the U.S., or
something in between?

4% Over, victory
1% Over, defeat
15% Over, in between
80% Not over



Obama up 3 in approval, and down 2 in disapproval, since the last poll.

And that should be a 3.5 MOE. Only SUSA has a 35 point MOE.



Interesting result on question 23.b

71% believe that the troops left there in Iraq that Obama has relabeled as "non combat" troops will be involved in combat. People understand the gimmick. I'm surprised he didn't fool more people than that.



An American died Sunday in Iraq, after the "war" was over. The remaining 50,000 troops are still receiving combat pay (as they should since they are still in harms way). This end of the war is no different than Bush's "mission accomplished" speech. We are still going to be wasting billions of dollars on a war that is making us less safe and had nothing to do with 9/11.



Is it just me, or are the Iraq questions really terribly worded?

I also don't see how Obama had positive approval on the Iraq war when the approval of the war is so low. And how the heck does he have positive approval in Afganistan? What has he done to deserve that? He didn't really do anything to help the situation in Iraq either. All he did was bring the troops home at the time the Bush administration said they would be coming home.

I mean, dang, if it was up to Obama, and we never had the surge, things could be much worse in Iraq now.



Here's something for those of you who keep talking about how the GOP is being over-polled and minorities will keep the GOP from taking back the house.

According to Gallup, those who are least likely to vote in the next election:

Young People

whites - 42%
blacks - 25%

18-29 yrs - 19%
30 and up - 42%

men - 45%
women - 31%


Field Marshal:


I think Obama gets positive approval on Afgh. and Iraq because of republican approving overwhelmingly. Given that he simply continued Bush policy to a 'T' in Iraq and is actually attempting to win the war in Afgh. without caving to his nutty base, Reps approve.




Very true. Would be interesting to see the party breakdown on the foreign policy approvals.



What's more, with regard to young voters, they're not so liberal anymore.

When times are hard, you grow up faster..


"The Democratic advantage over the Republicans in party affiliation among young voters, including those who "lean" to a party, reached a whopping 62% to 30% margin in 2008. But by the end of 2009 this 32-point margin had shrunk to just 14 points: 54% Democrat, 40% Republican."

That's just "end of 2009". Wonder where it is now?


Things change, and sometimes things change very quickly.


Field Marshal:

Found this article interesting. It seems that the federal governments immigration policies are much more intrusive than the AZ law would have been.




I couldn't wait to get to this comment page. I knew that some would try their best to either discount the poll or find a negative number.

Well the fact is this is a fairly good poll for Obama and by extension Democrats. Obama is back at 50% approval and in prior midterms a President who has 50% or more approval usually has less losses by his party in Congress.

And even better for Obama he gets very high approvals on issues of war and national security which have alway bedeviled Democratic Presidents and presidential candidates.

Buried further in poll is regional approval data. Of course Obama has his highest in the Northeast but is also at 50% in the critical Midwest and Western regions. Even in the South he manages a suprising 46% approval which could help keep some of the very endangered DEM held House seats there.

So Obama has an opportunity to turn his ship around. Success in Iraq has lifted him and now he hopefully can pivot to talking about economy and jobs. Regaining the advantage on those issues is key to holding down DEM losses in November.



Yeah, but just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, today's unemployment rate is up a notch again (9.6%).

Fact is, it's Labor Day, and the real race starts Tues. Dems are way back, but there is no doubt there will be some surprises - there always are. It could be a surprise in either direction - the Senate could flip along with the House (as has always been the case before, I think I read). Or maybe the Reps don't get quite enough to take the House.

And of course, one terrorist attack, or earthquake (pray for New Zealand) can turn all the careful calculations we read about on their head in a matter of days.

Still, its barely 6 weeks till early voting begins - have a happy Labor Day everyone!



According to Gallup, those who are least likely to vote in the next election:

Young People

whites - 42%
blacks - 25%

18-29 yrs - 19%
30 and up - 42%

men - 45%
women - 31%

It is pretty sad that voters under 30 may not vote, yet I think this is way off. I'll give our young people more credit than that. I seriously would.

I also think the gender cap is way off! I highly doubt that more men will go to the polls than women. It goes to show progressives have a lot of work to do, but we are up to it.



"I also think the gender cap is way off!"
FL&P: I agree with you. Currently men are definitely saying they are enthused and are being factored more heavily into Likely Voter models - but recent history has not shown this kind of gender gap in actual voting. I will have to do some research on this - but I wonder if women don't vote at higher rates for a given enthusiasm level (i.e I suspect that the Likely Voting models used by pollsters should account for gender in their formulas).



Since 1980 the percentage of women who have voted has been higher than the percentage of men who voted in every Presidential election. Since 1986 the percentage of women who have voted has been higher then the percentage of men who voted in every midterm election. Here's the data for midterm elections:

Year.....% of women......% of men

Thus, Likely Voter models based only on enthusiasm and the like (for which men report having greater enthusiasm without any data to support that they vote at higher rates than women) may well be biased if there is also a gender gap in party preferences or other voting behavior.



@ Staty

Did you even read the entirety of your own links?

They suggest that young people are becoming less democratic, not much more republican, and not more conservative:

"the underlying political
values of this new generation continue to be
significantly more liberal than those of other
generations on many measures."

Most notably FP and social issues, particularly attitudes toward gays.

"Aside from partisanship, this
distinctiveness is most evident in the
Millennials’ social values, but can also be
seen in greater support for government in
general, and somewhat lower levels of
support for an assertive national security
policy compared with other generations."

Plus when viewed in context the shift is not that dramatic. The shift from 62-30 to 54-40 is commensurate with Obama's drop among all groups.

The pew survey directly refutes your "grow more conservative as they grow older" thesis. It compares its results to the same survey's done in the past, so we can see if the Gen Xers have indeed become more conservative as they aged (they are now 35-50).

Right here: "In the 2009 survey, 82% of the Silent Generation agreed that they have “oldfashioned values about family and marriage.”
By contrast, 61% of Millennials agreed.
Members of Generation X in 2009 were only
slightly more likely than Millennials to agree
with the statement (67% did so). But in 1994,
when members of Gen X were about the same
ages as the Millennials were in 2009, 77% of
Gen X agreed."

According to this, the Gen Xers have become slightly more *liberal* on the "traditional marriage" issue.

More refutation of the age/conservatism argument:

"In 1994 when Generation X spanned roughly the same ages as the Millennials last year
(18 to 28), 55% of that cohort agreed that government was wasteful and inefficient, considerably
greater than the number of Millennials who said this last year (42%)."

So Gen Xers started were more conservative in their youth than millenials are now, at least on social issues.

On fiscal issues it seems youth are not much different than any other groups:

"Since 2007, there has been a decline in
the overall proportion favoring more generous
assistance for the poor, a downturn that was true for the Millennials as well. In 2009, for
instance, 51% of Millennials agreed that “the
government should help more needy people
even if it means going deeper in debt”; two
years earlier, 59% of Millennials agreed with
that statement."

It still refutes your age/conservatism statement, since agreement with the "helping the poor" statement fluctuates up and down among all age groups over time; it does not start high and consistently move down for any age group.

There was also some more upside in the affirmative action question than for Gen Xers in their youth - again, situational factors seemed important.

That whole survey seemed to indicate that people's attitudes change based on prevailing sentiment on particular issues at the time, and that age itself is a somewhat less important factor, although it does have an effect because age causes the starting points to be different. There will always be a gap in generational attitudes, but they uniformly rise and fall based on whether more liberal or conservative attitudes are in vogue. I noticed a fair amount of support for liberal attitudes in the early 90s and 2007-09, when Clinton was elected and when Obama was elected. Coincidence? I think not.

What it shows is what we already know: that politics are cyclical and no party should count on a permanent majority.



The stark difference in generational attitudes consists of 2 things: 1) the "aggressive foreign policy" question. Millenials have only become *less* approving of peace through military strength in their lifetimes.

2) acceptance of non-traditional social arrangements like co-habitation w/o marriage, inter-racial marriage, and gay marriage.

There is also a significantly lower level of apprehension on the immigration question, although they do want illegal immigration curbed, far less so and for different reasons than the older people. Probably because young people are far more multi-cultural.

Palin/Beck style cultural conservatism will be out. Bush style neo-conservatism will also be out.

I expect we'll see a resurgence of Eisenhower-Nixon-Ford type republicans in the future. Less Reagans and Palins. That will be a good thing.

Obviously the parties will change as one generation dies out and the new ones take over. We might even see the republicans become more liberal on key issues than the democrats in the next 2 decades, as the democrats try to appeal to more culturally conservative aging Boomers and republicans try to take advantage of socially liberal but financially-conscious young people.


Post a comment

Please be patient while your comment posts - sometimes it takes a minute or two. To check your comment, please wait 60 seconds and click your browser's refresh button. Note that comments with three or more hyperlinks will be held for approval.