June 23, 2005--Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that
President Bush is more responsible for starting the War with Iraq
than Saddam Hussein. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 44% take
the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the
In late 2002, months before the fighting
began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the
War. Just one-in-four thought the President was doing the provoking
at that time.
The biggest change in perceptions has
come among Democrats.
In 2002, the party of Harry Reid and
Nancy Pelosi was divided on this point. By a 49% to 34% margin,
liberal Democrats at the time said Bush bore most of the
responsibility. Conservative Democrats placed the blame on Hussein
by a 54% to 30% margin.
Now, however, 78% of all Democrats say
that Bush is more responsible for starting the War than Hussein.
Just 18% take the opposite view.
Republicans, by a 76% to 17% margin, say
that Hussein is responsible.
Among those not affiliated with either
major party, 52% name Bush and 34% Hussein.
A related survey found that just 20% of
Americans believe prisoners at Guantanamo
Bay have been treated unfairly.
Demographic details available for
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Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports,
has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
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The telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was
conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 20-21, 2005. The margin of
sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95%
level of confidence. 37% of survey respondents were Republican, 37%
Democrat, and 26% unaffiliated (see Methodology)