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37% Expect Improvement in Iraq Over Next 6 Months

Positive Views Up Nine Points Over the Past Month

Survey of 1,000 Adults

January 31-February 1, 2005 

Situation in Iraq Over Next Six Months

Better 37%
Worse 40%


In Long Term, Will U.S. Mission in Iraq be Judged...

Success 40%
Failure 41%


US Safer Since 9/11?

Yes 39%
No 44%



February 2, 2005--Following Sunday's voting in Iraq, Americans are a bit more hopeful about prospects for that troubled nation.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Americans now believe that the situation in Iraq will get better over the next six months. That’s up from 31% just before the election and from 28% a month ago

Just as significantly, the number who believe the situation in Iraq will get worse has fallen from  50% in January to 40% today.

Forty percent (40%) of Americans now believe the U.S. mission in Iraq will be a success while 41% say it will ultimately be deemed a failure. Just before the Iraqi elections, 38% said the mission would be a success and 46% said it would be a failure.

The most recent survey of 1,000 adults was completed on Monday and Tuesday, January 31 and February 1, 2005. Those are the two nights following the Iraqi elections and preceding the President's State of the Union Address. Demographic details are available for Premium Members.

On all data, there is a strong partisan divide.

Republicans, by a 64% to 17% margin, believe that the situation in Iraq will improve over the next six months. Democrats, by an even larger 55% to 16% margin, believe things will get worse. As for those not affiliated with either party, 26% say better and 50% worse.

Last fall, 33% of voters said that things were getting better in Iraq while 43% said they were getting worse.

As documented in The GOP Generation, the polarizing national security issues dominated Election 2004. 

The report notes that, ironically, The President’s policy in Iraq and the larger War on Terror will begin to unify the nation [over the next couple of years]... If the President’s policies are working, a solid majority of voters will rally behind them. If his policies are not working, a solid majority of voters will rally against them. Either way, we will be moving towards unity.”

The recent survey, however, found that the move towards unity has not yet begun. By a 68% to 18% margin, Republicans believe that the US mission in Iraq will ultimately be considered a success. The GOP view on that point changed little from our prior survey.

Democrats, by a  60% to 20% margin, say the mission in Iraq will ultimately be judged a failure. Prior to the voting over the weekend, 74% of Democrats said the mission would be a failure.

A separate survey found that Republicans tend to believe that America's best days are yet to come. Democrats tend to believe they have come and gone.

Rasmussen Reports recently released a 130 page special report on Election 2004. The GOP Generation documents how and why Republicans have the potential to control both the House and the Senate for at least a generation. It is "not the result of a single election… President Bush is in a position to close a sale with American voters that was first proposed by Ronald Reagan a generation ago...” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says that “The GOP Generation captures with clarity the dynamics that are propelling this Republican era to staggering new heights.”

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This survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports January 31-February 1, 2005.  The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

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