Poll: Iraq the single issue for 1/3 voters

Aug. 31, 2006 at 4:07 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- More than a third of Americans, and two-thirds of Democrats, are so opposed to the war in Iraq that they would vote against a candidate on that basis alone.

Researchers at the University of Quinnipiac asked just over 1,000 registered voters, "Do you oppose the war in Iraq strongly enough to vote against a political candidate just on that issue?"

Thirty-six percent, including 62 percent of registered Democrats and 12 percent of registered Republicans, answered "Yes."

"This shows that every candidate has to take a stand on Iraq this November," Moira Whelan told United Press International. Whelan is the spokeswoman for the National Security Network, a new organization of liberal-leaning experts and former officials headed by Rand Beers, who was a senior advisor to the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

"Voters aren't going to settle for rubber-stamping a failed policy in Iraq," she said.

Overall the poll found voters oppose the war in Iraq by 53 to 43 percent. Among Democrats, the figure is 82 to 15 percent opposed, whereas among GOP supporters, 77 percent support the war, with just 19 percent opposing it.

The poll found varying support for different tactics in the war against terrorism.

By a barely significant margin of 51 to 47 percent, voters support warrantless wiretaps of phone calls and e-mails.

By a much larger, 60 to 37 percent margin, they say authorities should be allowed to single out people who look "Middle Eastern" for security screening at airports and elsewhere.

"Practicality, or fear, outweighs political correctness," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement.

Between Aug. 17 and 23, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,080 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of three percent.

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