Politics And The Iraq War Funding Debate
Kevin and I have been having a discussion in the comment thread to my earlier post about the Senate’s passage of an Iraq War funding bill that contains a timetable for withdrawal. The basic question is whether the Bush Administration or the Democratic Congress has the most to lose in what looks like it will be a showdown over funding the war.
Apropos of that disucssion, I though these poll results were interesting:
1. A solid majority of Americans want Congress to fully fund the war in Iraq.
When asked if they favor or oppose Congress fully funding the war in Iraq, 56% favor fully funding the war in Iraq, while just 38% oppose. In fact, more voters STRONGLY favor (40%) Congress fully funding the war in Iraq than out-right oppose it (38%).
Support for funding our troops is consistent across the board:
- Republicans are unified with 87% support. A majority (55%) of Independents support fully funding the war in Iraq. Despite the party line vote in Congress, more than one in four Democrats support funding for our military in Iraq.
- Across the country, majorities of Americans support funding our troops – including 51% in the Northeast, 56% in the Midwest, 58% in the South, and 59% in the West.
3. Voters point the finger of blame squarely in the Democrats’ direction for not fundingthe troops.
We read voters the following statements and asked them to pick which statement they agreed with the most.
President Bush has declared that he will veto the bill because it sets a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq and includes billions of dollars in non-emergency spending. By vetoing this bill, a spending bill for the troops will not be passed.
In thinking about this, which position do you agree with most? (ROTATE STATEMENTS)
- 40% (SOME/OTHER) people say that if President Bush vetoes the Democratic spending bill then Bush should be blamed for not funding the troops because his veto will mean that there is no spending package available for the troops.
- 50% (OTHER/SOME) people say that if President Bush vetoes the Democratic spending bill then the Democrats in Congress are to be blamed for not funding the troops because they attached restrictions on the President and military commanders in Iraq along with billions of dollars in pork barrel spending to a bill intended to help the troops.
If this poll is to be believed, then the public at this point is on the side of the Administration, or at least opposed to the idea of defunding the war, and that they would blame the Democrats in Congress if a clean Iraq War spending bill did not pass by the April 15th deadline.
Given, this I think my earlier conclusion that the Democrats are taking big political risk here is well-supported.
H/T: James Joyner