A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll says that 73% of Americans think civil war in Iraq is likely to occur in the next year:
Likely Unlikely Already Occurring (vol.) No Opinion 2006 Feb28-Mar 1 73% 20 2 5 (vol.) = Volunteered response
Initially fairly discouraging, but here is the next question: How closely have you been following the news about last week’s bombings of major religious buildings in Iraq and the violence that followed — very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all? The response puts things in perspective, somewhat:
Very closely Somewhat Closely Not Too Closely Not at All No Opinion 2006 Feb28-Mar 1 25% 45 19 11 *
It would have been quite helpful to know how many of those who have been following the story “Very Closely” still think that civil war is imminent. If those who have been following it “Somewhat Closely” or “Not Too Closely” have been reading NYT or ABC News headlines, I’m not surprised at these results. This question wasn’t asked unfortunately, and the headline still stands: Three in Four Americans Think Civil War Likely in Iraq.