Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Republican disconnect on the war?

Mark Binker takes a closer look at the Elon Poll questions on the Iraq War, specifically support for timetables for withdrawal. The Elon Poll showed strong support for timetables (more than 60%).

Binker goes on to look at the party affiliation breakdowns, showing some drop-off in support between Democrats and Republicans. Yet still, 44% of Republicans support a timetable by 2008, and 56% support a timetable by 2009.

The Elon Poll finds much stronger support for timetables than a PPP survey taken last month. Our poll found only 49% of North Carolinians favored Congress setting a timetable for withdrawal within the next year. Why the difference?

The other option we posed to respondents, besides a timetable, was to follow the President until the job is finished. When asked that way, Republicans stayed with the President and did not support a timetable. In our question, only 24% of Republicans supported timetables and 70% wanted Congress to support the President.

What does that mean? I think there is a slight disconnect between Republicans’ policy preferences and their allegiance to the President. While their support for continuing the war might be weak, they still want to follow President Bush’s lead.

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