March 17, 2006
Survey: Region pessimistic, divided on troop strategy in Iraq
Full report (pdf)
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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