You are herecontent / Slight Majority Say Bush Should Meet With Sheehan
Slight Majority Say Bush Should Meet With Sheehan
Survey Suggests Mother's Actions Have Little Impact on War Views
By Richard Morin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Slightly more than half of the country says President Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed last year in Iraq, who is leading a protest against the war outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey found that 52 percent of the public says Bush should talk to Sheehan, who has repeatedly asked for a meeting with the president, while 46 percent said he should not. Fifty-three percent support what she is doing while 42 percent oppose her actions, according to the poll.
Sheehan began her protest three weeks ago, four days after Bush began a five-week vacation at his Crawford ranch. She has repeatedly demanded that Bush meet with her to discuss the war. The two met last year at an event for military families, and Bush has repeatedly declined another meeting. Recently Sheehan announced plans to embark on a bus tour after protesters break camp later this week. The bus tour will end in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24 with a 24-hour vigil.
Like the war and Bush's overall handling of the situation in Iraq, attitudes toward Sheehan divide along sharply partisan lines. Seven in 10 Democrats say they support Sheehan's position on Iraq while an equal proportion of Republicans oppose her.
In the three weeks since she began her protest, Sheehan has quickly become the most visible symbol of the anti-war movement. Fully three in four Americans say they have read or heard about Sheehan and her protest.
The survey also suggests, however, that Sheehan's anti-war vigil has failed to mobilize large numbers of Americans against the war. If anything, her opposition has done as much to drive up support for the war as ignite opponents, the survey found.
Eight in 10 Americans--including overwhelming majorities of Democrats, Republicans and political independents--say Sheehan's protest has had no impact on their attitudes toward Iraq. While one in 10 say she has made them less likely to support the war, the same proportion say she has made them more likely to back the conflict.
A total of 1,006 randomly selected adults were interviewed by telephone Aug. 25 through 28 for this national survey. The margin of sampling error for the overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Additional results from this Post-ABC News poll will be available at 5 p.m. today at washingtonpost.com