Georgians split on Iraq War

Athens, Ga. – The most recent Peach State Poll, a quarterly survey of public opinion conducted by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, found that 47 percent of Georgians thought that sending American troops into Iraq was a mistake, another 47 percent say it was not a mistake.  The remaining 6 percent are undecided.  Georgians are, however, less likely to consider the decision to send troops into Iraq a mistake than are Americans as a whole, and 79 percent express a high level of confidence in the U.S. military.  Georgians’ approval level of the president’s handling of his job and their views on the U.S. economy are very similar to those of other Americans. 

The poll also finds a high level of dissatisfaction with the federal government’s response to the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A plurality of Georgians (47 percent) characterize the federal government’s response as poor. “Among African Americans in Georgia, 72 percent say that the federal government’s response was poor,” said poll director Rich Clark.  African Americans (59 percent) were also much more likely than Georgians generally (40 percent) to say that the federal government should pay most of the costs of rebuilding the damaged areas.  Twenty-three percent of Georgians say that state governments should pay most of the costs of rebuilding.  Another 20 percent say that those costs should be borne by the people and businesses directly affected by the hurricanes. 

Other Peach State Poll results:

  • Only 10 percent of Georgians are of the opinion that the Gulf Coast areas decimated by floods should not be rebuilt. Sixteen percent say that the areas should be rebuilt just as they were, while 68 percent say that the areas should be rebuilt, but differently.
  • A vast majority of Georgians rate the U.S. economy as either fair (42 percent) or poor (26 percent). Only 32 percent rate the national economy as either excellent (6 percent) or good (26 percent).
  • Georgians do not express a high level of trust in the federal government. Only 29 percent of Georgians say that they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right either just about always (5 percent) or most of the time (24 percent). A plurality say that they trust their government in Washington only some of the time, and another 29 percent say that they hardly ever trust it to do what is right.

These data were taken from a Peach State Poll survey conducted between January 27 and February 5, 2006. The poll included 803 telephone interviews of randomly selected adults in Georgia. For a sample of this size, the margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/-3.5 percent.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia, has as part of its mission to provide policymakers with systematic, objective research to inform policy decisions. In accordance with that mission, the Peach State Poll aims to give voice to the public on important policy matters and issues pertaining to political, social and economic life in Georgia.

For more information on this survey or other Peach State Poll results, see http://www.cviog.uga.edu/peachpoll/