March 20, 2005

Survey: Majority of region’s residents now oppose Iraq War

Full Survey (pdf)

On the second anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, support for the war has fallen strongly in the Sacramento Region, according to a survey released today by researchers at Sacramento State.

Just 38 percent of the region’s residents now say the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, compared to 52 percent in 2003 and 50 percent in 2004. Unlike previous years, the region’s support for the war is much lower than in the nation as a whole, which is 51 percent according to a recent Gallup Poll.

Despite successful Iraqi elections in January, the region’s residents are also not very optimistic about the future of the U.S. involvement in the country. Only 36 percent predict it will be better next year, compared to 47 percent in the 2004 survey.
And Sacramento area residents are slightly less likely than Americans as a whole to approve of President Bush’s handling of Iraq (42 percent vs. 45 percent).

The findings are from the fourth “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region,” by Sacramento State sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 20 students. It covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

The survey’s section on Iraq is the first to be analyzed and released.

The survey found that the region’s opinions about Iraq are now more strongly than ever divided by party affiliation. While 72 percent of Republicans support the decision to go to war, 77 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of other voters oppose that decision. Last year, 80 percent of Republicans supported the war decision, while 69 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of other voters opposed it.

The survey also measured opinion by county and racial group.

In El Dorado, Sacramento and Yolo counties, approval for the war is 39 percent, 37 percent and 28 percent respectively, while in Placer County support is 50 percent. The decline in support was most stunning in El Dorado County, where last year 68 percent of residents supported the decision to go to war.

Throughout the region, 40 percent of white residents say they support the decision to go to war, down from 55 percent last year. Among other racial groups, support has dropped to 30 percent, down from 38 percent last year.

The survey included 887 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region who were interviewed from Feb. 15 to March 10. The margin of error is 3 percent.

The full report is available from the news release at www.csus.edu/news. Media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

Full Survey (pdf)



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