Category Archive 'Polling'
09 Oct 2012

“What Is Best in Life?

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What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women! –Conan the Barbarian

Yesterday, we got to listen to the delightfully loud lamentations of Andrew Sullivan, who continues to refer himself as a conservative while operating professionally as one of the left’s most prolific and mendacious spinmeisters.

Poor Andrew is currently panicking.

The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead. That’s a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama’s performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.

Romney’s favorables are above Obama’s now. Yes, you read that right. Romney’s favorables are higher than Obama’s right now. That gender gap that was Obama’s firewall? Over in one night:

    Currently, women are evenly divided (47% Obama, 47% Romney). Last month, Obama led Romney by 18 points (56% to 38%) among women likely voters.

Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That’s terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion. He still has some personal advantages over Romney – even though they are all much diminished. Obama still has an edge on Medicare, scores much higher on relating to ordinary people, is ahead on foreign policy, and on being moderate, consistent and honest (only 14 percent of swing voters believe Romney is honest). But on the core issues of the economy and the deficit, Romney is now kicking the president’s ass.

27 Sep 2012

Obama Keeps Winning in the Polls

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Rick Wilson looks at what’s been going on recently in the campaign.

The trick the Obama campaign has executed beautifully this month is to demoralize and dismay the GOP base. A combination of a very, very, very heavy TV buy in swing states (pay attention, because this is a rabbit they can’t pull out every week), a fierce assault on Romney at every turn (abetted by a cooperative press that loves the taste of blood) and a series of public polls that have played into a self-reinforcing narrative that Obama is inevitable.

The trick is a good one, and to judge from the wailing and lamentations on our side, it’s been working.

But it’s just a trick.

Let’s pull back the curtain, shall we?

The polling-validity battle has gone on for weeks now, and I’ll skip recounting the arguments on both sides. Yes, they’re playing 2008+ model games. No, it isn’t a just a conspiracy by the liberal media. Yes, the race is closer than the public polls show – on either side. The poll coverage looks the way it does because the media monster is always hungry, confirmation bias is like slipping into a warm bath and the herd runs the same direction, despite the facts.

The polls are what they are and September polls are never, ever wrong… except of course in 1948, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004. (h/t the amazing Jay Cost for that one).

See? You just saw one of the wires that make the trick work.

The polling is presented superficially, with typically only the toplines and a degree of analysis that is facile at best. There’s no context, history or depth. I’ve covered this problem a bit here and here.

So the polls became part of the message of chest-beating triumphalism by Team Obama. The drumbeat of Obama’s glorious, inexorable ascension to another four years in the Oval Office is something Chicago feeds to the media, but doesn’t for a second believe themselves.

The entire purpose of the last two weeks on their side is to game early voting. That’s it. It’s not about the end game, but rather an attempt to roll up some numbers in key states before the debates start and the campaign joins in earnest. They’re desperate to have you demoralized, depressed and sitting home in your living room, grumbling at Fox instead of voting early.

The Democrats know very well this race will tighten even further toward the end, and that the Potemkin Village of polls showing Barack Obama with a double-digit lead is just that.

They know that all the balls Obama is juggling now are, statistically and politically, impossible keep airborne. They know the run of Obama-is-God stories will collide with reality, whether economic, diplomatic or political. They know that Romney’s spending is catching up, fast, and will peak in the last week of October in a furious orgy of television ads and a get-out-the-vote program like nothing the GOP has done before.

Read the whole thing.

14 Nov 2011

Gingrich Moves Into the Lead

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Public Policy Polling
:

Newt Gingrich has taken the lead in PPP’s national polling. He’s at 28% to 25% for Herman Cain and 18% for Mitt Romney. The rest of the Republican field is increasingly looking like a bunch of also rans: Rick Perry is at 6%, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum each at 1%.

Compared to a month ago Gingrich is up 13 points, while Cain has dropped by 5 points and Romney has gone down by 4.

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CNN’s poll results are nearly as good:

A new national survey of Republicans indicates that it’s basically all tied up between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, with Gingrich on the rise and businessman Herman Cain falling due to the sexual harassment allegations he’s been facing the past two weeks.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday, 24% of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say Romney is their most likely choice for their party’s presidential nominee with Gingrich at 22%. Romney’s two-point advantage is well within the survey’s sampling error.

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It must have been NYM’s recent endorsement.

23 Nov 2010

Obama’s Approval Rating Hits New Low

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Zogby‘s latest poll gives the Chosen One a whopping 39%. In comparison with potential 2012 opponents, Obama trails Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich and is just one point ahead of Sarah Palin.

The percentage of likely voters saying the U.S. is on the wrong track is now the highest since Obama took office at 69%.

2012 is shaping up to be a blow out resembling 1980.

01 Nov 2010

Final Gallup Poll Enters “Uncharted Territory”

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The Gallup Poll election eve results resemble nothing ever seen in the modern era of political polling.

The final Gallup Poll before President Obama’s first midterm elections Tuesday indicates Republicans are poised to reap historic gains in the House of Representatives, possibly electing twice as many new members as they need to seize control of the chamber where financial legislation originates.

Gallup’s latest findings this morning predict Republicans will easily gain the necessary 39 seats to seize control of the House regardless of voter turnout. They predict a minimum GOP gain of 60 seats “with gains well beyond that possible.” That kind of rout would be the worst shellacking of a president’s party in a half-century.

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At the New York Times, Nate Silver points out five reasons that Republican gains could turn out larger than previous polling has predicted.

09 Aug 2010

A Pre-Revolutionary Moment

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Fox News interviews Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell on the results of a Democracy Corps poll indicating that 64% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

5:59 video

The democratic party is fracturing… the democratic party has essentially been hijacked by an educated… over-educated, elite group who basically don’t care about the people who constitute the democratic party. … It is a much graver constitutional crisis. We have a situation where we have 21% of the people who believe that the government is operating with the consent of the governed, from the Declaration of Independence. 21! 68% say no. 57% of the people in a CNN poll said a few months ago said they believe the federal government is becoming a direct and immediate threat to their own freedom. Now, I’m telling you, that is pre-revolutionary. What’s happening is, this sense of pushing people. We’re going to shove this down your throat. We’re going to shove this. We know better. The issue is very simple: who is sovereign in this country? the people or the political class? … We are heading for a tidal wave kin November, the likes of which I don’t even know the dimensions yet. It’s still forming.

Hat tip to Ace via Bird Dog.

31 Mar 2010

Anonymous Democrat Senator: “Health Care Bill Was Political Folly”

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Howard Fineman, at Newsweek, notes that polls confirm democrats will pay a terrible price for their leaderships hubris in enacting a major radical measure in defiance of public sentiment.

A Democratic senator I can’t name, who reluctantly voted for the health-care bill out of loyalty to his party and his admiration for Barack Obama, privately complained to me that the measure was political folly, in part because of the way it goes into effect: some taxes first, most benefits later, and rate hikes by insurance companies in between.

Besides that, this Democrat said, people who already have coverage will feel threatened and resentful about helping to cover the uninsured—an emotion they will sanitize for the polltakers into a concern about federal spending and debt.

On the day the president signed into law the “fix-it” addendum to the massive health-care measure, two new polls show just how fearful and skeptical Americans are about the entire enterprise. If the numbers stay where they are—and it’s not clear why they will change much between now and November—then the Democrats really are in danger of colossal losses at the polls.

27 Jan 2010

Scott Brown (Almost) Ties Obama in Zogby Presidential Preference Poll

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Newsmax cheerfully interprets away Obama’s 1.9% winning edge, but, hey! Brown hasn’t even started campaigning yet.

A stunning new poll conducted by Newsmax/Zogby reveals that Massachusett’s new Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown could defeat President Barack Obama in a presidential election.

The Newsmax/Zogby poll released Tuesday found that the pair would be statistically deadlocked if the presidential election took place today.

The poll indicates surprisingly weak support for the president among independent voters, who favor the tyro Brown by 48.6 percent to 36 percent in a hypothetical matchup against Obama. …

“The real problem for Obama is that he has lost the middle, and losing the middle means losing independents,” McKinnon said. “And it is independents that are responsible for swinging elections one way or the other in this country. So if you lose independents, you’re going to lose the presidency.”

The poll asked likely voters: “If the election for president of the United States were held today and the only candidates were Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Scott Brown, for whom would you vote?”

Based on the 4,163 responses, Obama leads Brown by 46.5 percent to 44.6 percent. That amounts to a statistical tie because the Zogby survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent.

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Even hard-core liberal snark queen Maureen Dowd evidently recognizes the rising star eclipsing the setting one.

He’s The One, all right.

The handsome, athletic pol with the comely wife and two lovely daughters who precipitously rose from the State Legislature to pull us all together.

The fresh face and disarming underdog America’s been waiting for, someone who suffered through his parents’ divorce, watched his mom go on welfare and survived some wayward youthful behavior to become disciplined and successful — a lawyer, a lawmaker and a devoted family guy who does dog duty.

Someone who’s always game for a game of pickup basketball, loves talking sports and even boasts beefcake photos. A pro-choice phenom propelled into higher office by conservatives, independents and Democrats, a surprise winner with a magical aura.

The New One is the shimmering vessel that we are pouring all our hopes and dreams into after the grave disappointment of the Last One, Barack Obama.

The only question left is: Why isn’t Scott Brown delivering the State of the Union?

16 Jun 2009

Wilderness Years

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William Voegeli, in the Claremont Review of Books, contemplates the conservative prospect after electoral disaster.

He notes that lost elections have previously been claimed to mark conservatism’s final defeat very prematurely. The difference this time seems to be a vacuum in our national leadership and a new accommodationist internal (Brooks, Frum, Douthat) movement urging conservatives to concede on liberal positions and scuttle toward the center in hope of finding a majority.

Voegeli disagrees, arguing that we should nail our colors to the mast; and, like Whittaker Chambers, resolve to stand upon the side of truth and liberty however adverse their prospects.

One measure of its strength is that conservatism’s policy victories often engender conservatives’ political defeats. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 paved the way for Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, in the same way that the success of the surge in Iraq in 2007 took the war off the front page in 2008, and made it impossible for John McCain to gain electoral traction as its chief advocate. The tax reduction and simplification achieved by the tax reforms of 1986 cleared the canvas for liberals to immediately begin advocating new increases and complexities. Even as the memory of the great crime wave from 1960 through 1994 has been effaced by the expectation of safe streets over the past 15 years, liberal activists and writers are laying the groundwork for a campaign against America’s “scandalously” high incarceration rates. Their “logic” is that safe streets have rendered full prisons unnecessary-rather than full prisons having rendered safe streets possible.

In short, America’s political division of labor finds conservatives cleaning up liberals’ messes, and liberals sweeping into the newly tidy spaces to start making new messes. If that’s true, what is to be done? ….

The danger liberalism poses to the American experiment comes from its disposition to deplete rather than replenish the capital required for self-government. Entitlement programs overextend not only financial but political capital. They proffer new “rights,” goad people to demand and expand those rights aggressively, and disdain truth in advertising about the nature or scope of the new debts and obligations those rights will engender. The experiment in self-government requires the cultivation, against the grain of a democratic age, of the virtues of self-reliance, patience, sacrifice, and restraint. The people who have this moral and social capital understand and accept that there “will be many long periods when you put more into your institutions than you get out,” according to David Brooks. Instead, liberalism promotes snarling but unrugged individualism, combining an absolute right “to the lifestyle of one’s choice (regardless of the social cost) with an equally fundamental right to be supported at state expense,” as the Manhattan Institute’s Fred Siegel once described it. Finally, the capital bestowed by vigilance against all enemies, foreign and domestic, is squandered when liberals insist on approaching street gangs, illegal immigrants, and terrorist regimes in the hopeful belief that, to quote the political scientist Joseph Cropsey, “trust edifies and absolute trust edifies absolutely.”

Conservatives have no guarantees that they will be able to save the American experiment from those who cavalierly dissipate the capital required to sustain it. They can only struggle to prudently reconcile the experiment’s deepest needs with the exigencies posed by today’s circumstances and threats. If that reconciliation ultimately requires nothing short of morally disgusting compromises that give up basic principles, the conservative will, instead, cheerfully commit to doing his duty for the duration, fully expecting to die on the losing side.

Read the whole thing.

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But a recent Gallup Poll shows we still outnumber liberals and our numbers are growing.

40% of Americans interviewed in national Gallup Poll surveys describe their political views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This represents a slight increase for conservatism in the U.S. since 2008, returning it to a level last seen in 2004.

16 Oct 2008

Can All the Left’s Spinning Possibly Backfire?

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Polls conducted by the liberal media keep putting Obama decisively in the lead and awarding him a victory in every debate. There’s no accident here, and the process is the opposite of objective. Whether it’s CNN or Daily Kos doing the polling, the fix is in.

Zombietime is beginning to wonder if the “Obama is winning by a landslide” propaganda blitz could possibly have a downside.

It’s no longer a matter of dispute that the mainstream media, overall, very strongly leans to the left. Over 90% of journalists classify themselves politically as “liberal” to varying degrees, and innumerable instances of left-wing bias on the part of the media have been pointed out by bloggers over the years. Yes, a small subset of media outlets are identifiably conservative, but they are vastly outnumbered, both in sheer numbers and in influence, by the liberal media. This fact takes on intense importance in an era when the “news” becomes (as it has become) a subjective matter. Nearly any fact or incident can be “spun” to Obama’s benefit.

Obama’s supporters and his official campaign have taken great advantage of this felicitous informational landscape — first, that the meta-campaign trumps reality, and second, that the media is cooperative and complicit. For example, after presidential debates, the leading left-wing blogs always coordinate massive online opinion-poll-stuffing campaigns. After the Palin-Biden vice-presidential debate, the overwhelming consensus on conservative and centrist blogs was that Palin had won handily, and that Biden spoke mostly in a soporific monotone while spewing a continuous stream of easily debunked falsehoods. And yet readers of DailyKos, the Huffington Post, Democratic Underground and dozens of other top left-wing blogs swarmed en masse to vote (often repeatedly) in mainstream online polls about the debate, so that afterward, CNN (among many others) could run headlines that said “57% Think Biden Won Debate,” basing their conclusion on the results of the online polls. And once enough of these articles get published, then they themselves become “proof” of the debate’s supposed outcome, and before long (often just a matter of hours) it becomes a “fact” no longer up for discussion that Biden won the debate. This fact is then referenced by pundits, and slips into supposedly neutral news stories. …

The Obama campaign itself also takes advantage of the sympathetic media to construct a facade of inevitability. The campaign will stage-manage crowds and dictate camera angles so that Obama is seen to not only have overwhelming numbers of fans but the correct demographic proportion of fans; the campaign will coordinate Obama appearances to coincide with rock concerts or other festivals so they can point to the huge crowds who showed up to watch Obama; and the media plays right along.

McCain supporters often complain about this strategy by the Left, going to great pains to point out the poll stuffing, the deceptive photos, the crowd overestimation, the slanted media coverage, and so forth. But should conservatives be so concerned? I propose that McCain supporters should be GLAD this is happening — because the Left is in fact making a disastrous strategic blunder.

A substantial portion of the Left’s strategy during this campaign is to create the perception that as many people as possible are supporting Obama. They strive to not simply show that he has a lot of supporters (which, obviously, he has), but to purposely inflate or exaggerate the numbers in order to make his support seem larger than it really is. The drive to do this seems almost automatic; it is assumed by Obama’s supporters to be the most effective campaign strategy. It’s so automatic that they perhaps are no longer even aware that it is a strategy. But why? What purpose is possibly served by this behavior? Has anyone on the Left ever paused, stepped back, and asked, “Wait a minute — why are we doing this? Are we sure it’s the correct course of action?” Doing everything possible to inflate the perceived support of Democratic candidates has become so de rigueur that the Left has long ago forgotten why they’re even doing it. …

Now, it could very well be that, after all is said and done, Obama will indeed win this election — I can’t predict the future any better than can anyone else. The Obama campaign and its supporters are also engaging in many other strategies (unrelated to the exaggeration of his popularity) that have likely been effective — such as blanketing the airwaves with advertisements, disparaging McCain, insulting Palin, and so on. The unabashed and unapologetic Obama boosterism from the traditional media certainly isn’t hurting either. In prior elections, candidates worried about an “October Surprise,” some last-minute revelation or scandal that threatens to realign the entire race. But in 2008, two or three October Surprises seem to be cropping up every single day, and there’s no reliable way to predict what will happen next (other than that the media will try to emphasize the anti-McCain news and downplay the anti-Obama news). And it may be that less than 50% of the population was ever interested in voting for McCain in the first place, and that an Obama victory was a foregone conclusion long before the campaign even began; I simply don’t know. However, if Obama does win, it will be IN SPITE OF the counter-productive antics of his supporters, not because of them. I feel that all the exaggerations and bias polling and online poll-stuffing and comment-spamming have only served to increase a desperate come-from-behind energy in the McCain campaign, and induce a sense of complacency and inevitable victory among rank-and-file Obama voters. However: If McCain wins, then Obama’s supporters will only have themselves to blame.

Will the exaggerations become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as assumed, or are Obama supporters spinning further and further away from reality, constructing one unsupportable exaggeration on top of another — only to be stunned on election day when the actual results, once again, don’t match either their pre-vote opinion polling or their post-vote exit polling?

Yet it may very well be that an army of glum, dispirited and pessimistic conservatives will reluctantly trudge to the polls on November 4, each one imagining they are the only remaining person in the entire country voting for McCain, and lo and behold — they’ll turn out to be a silent majority after all.

Read the whole thing.

22 Sep 2008

Gallup Massages the Numbers for Obama

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D.J. Drummond, at Wizbang, explains Obama’s miraculous recovery in Gallup’s Polls.

Obama’s support goes up and down, but the Liberal and Moderate Democrat support for Obama has been steady all of September. Odd, isn’t it? And support for Obama among Conservative Democrats went down four points in the last week, even though his overall support is supposed to have gone up four points. How to figure that?

Perhaps it’s in the Independents. …

Hmmm, again. Obama gained support among Independents in the last month, but he actually lost two points among Independents in the last week. So that 4 point gain overall is still a mystery.

Nothing to do, then, but look at the Republicans. It would really be something if he’s improving support from GOP voters:

Ouch. Obama lost six points among Liberal and Moderate Republicans in the past week.

Conservative Republican support for Obama …

No change there in the past week.

Taken altogether, there is no group of political identification where Obama’s support has increased in the past week. Mathematically, therefore, there is only one way in which Gallup could show an increase in Obama’s overall support, when none of the party identification groups showed improvement for him.

Before I explain that possibility, I want to look at John McCain’s support by specific party identification groups. The man, according to Gallup, lost four points of overall support in the past week,

Conservative Republican support for McCain…

Interesting. McCain’s support among Conservative Republicans went up a point in the last week.

Wow, McCain’s support from Liberal and Moderate Republicans climbed by seven points in the past week, and yet we are told his overall support fell by four points? That is very odd, wouldn’t you say? It must have been the Independents, perhaps?

Independent support for McCain …

Stranger and stranger, McCain’s support among Independents went up by four points in the past week, just as his support from Republicans increased, yet we are told his overall support went down by four. Very hard to explain that using the math most of us learned in school, isn’t it? Well, there’s just one place left to look. Maybe somehow McCain used to have significant support among Democrats, but lost it? Let’s find out:

Conservative Democrat support for McCain …

Hmpf. Once again, a group where support for McCain went up (3%), but the overall says he went down.

Moderate Democrat support for McCain …

Steady there, so that one does not explain it.

Liberal Democrat support for McCain…

It’s only a point, but again we see McCain’s numbers in this group went up.

So, put it all together, and in the past week Obama has stayed steady or lost support in every party identification group, yet Gallup says his overall support went up four points. And McCain stayed steady or went up in every party identification group, yet we are supposed to accept the claim that his overall support went down by four points? Anyone have an answer for how that is even possible?

Well, actually I do. There is one, and only one, possible way that such a thing can happen mathematically. And that way, is that Gallup made major changes to the political affiliation weighting from the last week to now. Gallup has significantly increased the proportional weight of Democrat response and reduced the weight of Republican response.

Read the whole thing.

12 Jun 2007

Which Ducks Exactly Are the Lamest?

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Jules Crittenden takes the occasion of the failure of the Gonzalez No Confidence vote, Harry Reid’s 19% Favorable Rating, and the democrat Congress’s 27% Approval Rating (a 10 Year Low) to remind Americans that it is actually possible to be doing worse than George W. Bush.

Mark Tapscott says the unpopularity of both Republicans and democrats proves it’s time for a new Party.

05 May 2007

61% of Democrats Are Just Plain Nuts

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Of course, you don’t have to travel all the way to Kurdistan to find superstitious savages, you just need to locate a few democrats.

Rasmussen Reports:

Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.

I read this kind of paranoid lunacy on my class list from time to time. “Republicans wanted a war, so the Military-Industrial Complex would get rich, and to benefit the oil companies.” I’ve frequently suggested that if my classmates really believe this stuff, they should go out and buy stock in the relevant companies, and become fabulously wealthy.

Take Halliburton. Dick Cheney is obviously looking out for them (any leftist believes). Why, in November of 1997 (during Clinton’s presidency) Halliburton’s stock was at $31.62, and after 7 years of Dick Cheney conspiring for their benefit, in yesterday’s trading session that same Halliburton stock closed at $32.28.

19 Jan 2007

Patriotic Americans

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Jonah Goldberg‘s mind is boggling at the results of a recent Fox News Poll.

News story:

63 percent of Americans say they want the plan to succeed, including 79 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats.

Meaning 37% of Americans, 21% of Republicans, 37% of Independents, and 49% of democrats either desire its failure, or are not sure.

On the larger political front, more people think “most Democrats” want the Bush plan to fail and for him to have to withdraw troops in defeat (48 percent), than think Democrats want the plan to succeed and lead to a stable Iraq (32 percent).

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