Polls are easy to dismiss when they don't go your way, and fun to trumpet when they support your positions. They're kind of like the Nielson ratings for cable news; if Bill O'Reilly still has the most viewers, and you are a "FOX fan," you use that to needle detractors. If you like Keith Olbermann's show, you might say, "yeah, well ratings don't indicate quality". . .until Olbermann starts shooting up in the ratings, that is. Then, suddenly the ratings matter.
Polls are funny things, because they can be useful, or totally worthless, depending upon what the questions are, and how they are asked. An honest, straightforward poll, that does not ask leading or loaded questions can still be useless, if the topic is irrelevant. For instance, a poll asking, "do you believe Iran has nuclear weapons, and will use them on the United States?" would be pointless. Whether Americans believe those things or not won't change the facts of the matter in any way.
Polls of Americans' opinions on the state of the Iraq War tread a line there, between relevant, and irrelevant. Our opinions will not change the facts on the ground. However, our opinions could in this case, change how our government behaves in response to the facts on the ground.
The George W. Bush administration has crowed about "not looking at the polls." I've always felt that was pretty insulting. After all, George W. Bush works for us, the American people, the very people expressing their opinions in the polls. Besides, it's bullshit anyway. Karl Rove (the guy running the show until recently) was armpit-deep in poll numbers. Bush looks at the polls. He knows what they say. He just doesn't give a damn what we think.
AP Poll: Most see Iraq war as failure
The public sees the Iraq war as a failure and thinks the U.S. troop buildup there has not worked, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll suggesting the tough sell President Bush faces in asking Congress and voters for more time.
The pessimism expressed by most people — including significant minorities of Republicans — contrasted with the brighter picture offered by Gen. David Petraeus. The chief U.S. commander in Iraq told Congress on Monday that the added 30,000 troops have largely achieved their military goals and could probably leave by next summer, though he conceded there has been scant political progress. [snip]
Two groups that normally support the Bush administration — white evangelical voters and conservatives — remained largely behind its war strategy.
Well of course they are.
Read more at: News.Yahoo.com