1. Iraq, WMD, and al Qaeda
A large majority of Bush supporters believe that before the war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or a major program for building them. A substantial majority of Bush supporters assume that most experts believe Iraq had WMD and that this was the conclusion of the recently released report by Charles Duelfer. A large majority of Bush supporters believes that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda and that clear evidence of this support has been found. A large majority believes that most experts also have this view, and a substantial majority believe that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Large majorities of Kerry supporters believe the opposite on all these points.
2. What the Bush Administration is Saying About Pre-War Iraq
Large majorities of Bush and Kerry supporters agree that the Bush administration is saying that Iraq had WMD and was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. In regard to WMD, these majorities are growing.
3. The Decision to Go to War
Majorities of Bush supporters and Kerry supporters agree that if Iraq did not have WMD or was not providing support to al Qaeda, the US should not have gone to war with Iraq.
4. World Public Opinion on the Iraq War and George Bush’s Reelection
Only three in ten Bush supporters believe that the majority of people in the world oppose the US going to war with Iraq, while an overwhelming majority of Kerry supporters have this view. A majority of Bush supporters assume that the majority of people in the world would like to see Bush reelected, while a large majority of Kerry supporters believe the opposite. Bush supporters also lean toward overestimating support in Islamic countries for US-led efforts to fight terrorism, while Kerry supporters do not .
5. Candidates’ Foreign Policy Positions
Majorities of Bush supporters misperceive his positions on a range of foreign policy issues. In particular they assume he supports multilateral approaches and addressing global warming when he has taken strong contrary positions on issues such as the International Criminal court and the Kyoto Agreement. A majority of Kerry supporters have accurate perceptions of Kerry positions on the same issues.
Here’s a summary stolen from the The Al Franken Show:
- 75% believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
- 74% believe Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade.
- 72% believe Iraq had WMD or a program to develop them.
- 72% believe Bush supports the treaty banning landmines.
- 69% believe Bush supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
- 61% believe if Bush knew there were no WMD he would not have gone to war.
- 60% believe most experts believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. (An additional 19% think Iraq was directly involved in 9/11. Gallup had 62% on this question.)
- 58% believe the Duelfer report concluded that Iraq had either WMD or a major program to develop them.
- 57% believe that the majority of people in the world would prefer to see Bush reelected.
- 56% believe most experts think Iraq had WMD.
- 55% believe the 9/11 report concluded Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
- 51% believe Bush supports the Kyoto treaty.