Three years after the invasion of Iraq, the Sacramento Region is increasingly
pessimistic about the U.S. future there and divided on the idea of a timetable
for troop withdrawal, according to a survey by researchers at Sacramento State.
Just 26 percent of the region’s residents believe things will be better
in Iraq next year, down from 36 percent last year. The negative mood was heightened
by the bombing of an important Shiite shrine on Feb. 22, after which only 21
percent predicted things would be better.
Predictions about the future in Iraq are heavily driven by political affiliation,
according to the survey. Among Republicans, 53 percent say the next year will
be better in Iraq, while 7 percent of Democrats say it will be better.
The findings are from the “2006 Sacramento State Annual Survey of the
Region,” conducted Feb. 4 to March 5 by Sociology professor Amy Liu and
more than 30 students. It covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.
The survey found division about what the United States should do with its troops
in Iraq. Fifty percent support setting a timetable for removing troops regardless
of whether U.S. goals are achieved, while 43 percent support keeping troops
there as long as it takes to accomplish U.S. goals.
The survey also found the lowest regional support for the war in three years,
with 36 percent saying it was worth going to war in Iraq. That’s down
from 50 percent in 2004 and 38 percent in 2005.
Support for the war varied strongly throughout the region. In El Dorado and
Placer counties, for example, 46 percent of residents say it was worth going
to war in Iraq. In Sacramento County, 33 percent agree with that assessment
and in Yolo County 29 percent agree.
The survey included 1,122 randomly selected adults in the Sacramento Region
who were interviewed in English and Spanish. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.
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