Poll Reveals Americans Supported Iraq War in 2003 Far More Than They Admit Today


Americans have a bit of collective amnesia when it comes to remembering their stance on the Iraq War when it first began in 2003. The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds that 51 percent of Americans report they were opposed to the Iraq War back when it started in 2003; 39 percent say they supported the war, 6 percent report not having had an opinion, and 5 percent can't remember.

However, a Pew Research Center poll conducted in March 2003, as the Iraq War began, found fully 72 percent of Americans supported the war, 23 percent were opposed, and 5 percent didn't have an opinion.

Among the 39 percent of Americans who remember supporting the Iraq War in 2003, 61 percent are in favor of returning ground troops to Iraq to combat ISIS. Among those who say they opposed the 2003 Iraq war, 66 percent oppose sending ground troops to Iraq.

Only 26 percent of Democrats say they recall supporting the 2003 Iraq War when it began and 65 percent say they had been opposed. However, 59 percent of Republicans report having supported the war while 33 percent say they had been opposed to it.  A plurality (41%) of independents say they had opposed the war, 36 percent say they had supported it, and 23 percent either couldn't remember or didn't have an opinion.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1004 adults on cell phones (503) and landlines (501) October 1-6, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results can be found here including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls).