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  49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War

44% Say Hussein

Survey of 1,000 Adults

June 20-21, 2005

  Who was more responsible for starting the War in Iraq…Saddam Hussein or President Bush?

Hussein 44%
Bush 49%



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 responsibility.

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.

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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 Premium Members.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Our publications provide real-time information on consumer confidence, investor confidence, employment data, the political situation, and other topics of value and interest.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

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)

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