Majority of Americans Have Never Participated In Anti-War Protests

Posted March 25, 2003 at 1:52pm

Fourteen percent of people surveyed told Zogby International interviewers in mid-March that they had participated in anti-war demonstrations or peace rallies, including 17 percent of Democrats and 5 percent of Republicans. Eighteen percent said they had participated but would not do so in the future. [IMGCAP(1)]

Sixty-four percent (including 52 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Republicans) said they have never participated in such rallies.

In the March 22-23 Gallup, CNN, USA Today poll, 5 percent said that they had attended a protest or made some public display of their opposition to the current war. In a separate question, 21 percent said they had attended a rally or made some public display of support.

Sixty-seven percent said the tactic of tying up traffic made them less sympathetic to the anti-war protesters’ cause, 5 percent more sympathetic and 27 percent said it didn’t matter.

Seventy-one percent in a March 23 ABC News/Washington Post poll said that anti-war demonstrations here and abroad had not changed their opinion of the war. Twenty-one percent said it had made them more likely to support it and 7 percent more likely to oppose.

Thirty-two percent in the March 20-22 CBS News/New York Times poll said Democratic presidential candidates who oppose the war with Iraq should speak out at this time, but 55 percent said that this would hurt the war effort. Forty-four percent of self-identified Democrats and 20 percent of self-identified Republicans said Democratic candidates who oppose the war should speak out.

Fifty-nine percent in the March 22 poll said that Americans who oppose the war should be able to hold protest marches and rallies, and 29 percent said it would hurt the war effort.

Hill, Bill and Bob. In the mid-March Gallup, CNN, USA Today poll, 46 percent had a favorable opinion of former President Bill Clinton while 51 percent an unfavorable opinion. People split evenly about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), with 45 percent holding a favorable opinion and 46 percent unfavorable. Fifty-eight percent had a favorable opinion of former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and 28 percent an unfavorable one.

Worldwide Satisfaction. When the Pew Research Center explored eight countries’ attitudes toward the war with Iraq in early March, it also asked a question about how satisfied people were with the way things were going in their countries. In Britain 30 percent were satisfied; France, 31 percent; Germany, 18 percent; Italy, 20 percent; Poland, 7 percent; Russia, 35 percent; and Turkey, 18 percent. Forty-one percent in Spain were satisfied.

When the same question was asked in the United States in January, 44 percent were satisfied.

Bush and Religion. In late February, CBS News Poll asked people about this statement: “Some people say that they like the way George W. Bush talks in public about his strong religious beliefs. Others say that this bothers them somewhat.” Sixty-three percent said they liked the way the president talks about his religious beliefs and 24 percent were bothered by it.

Eighty-four percent of Republicans, 58 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats said they liked it.

Saddam-al Qaeda Link. Only 7 percent in the United States, 20 percent in Great Britain and 14 percent in Canada thought there was no link between Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

Thirty percent in the United States, 11 percent in Great Britain, and 17 percent in Canada thought there was a close link. Harris Interactive took the polls in the three countries in February.

Attitudes Toward France. Two-thirds told Gallup, CNN, USA Today interviewers that it was silly that some restaurants had changed their menus so that food such as french fries and french toast are now called “freedom fries” or “freedom toast.”

A third said this was a sincere expression of patriotism. Eighty percent said they would continue to call them french fries.

In the mid-March poll, the percentage of people surveyed calling France an ally was 20, down from 50 percent in May 2000. In the new poll, 36 percent called France friendly, but not an ally, while 32 percent called it unfriendly and 8 percent said it is an enemy of the United States.

Polls vs. Public Opinion. A mid-February Harris Interactive survey found that 33 percent of those surveyed thought that public opinion polls had too much influence in Washington. Forty-eight percent said they had too little.

Nineteen percent said public opinion had too much influence, but 69 percent said it had too little.