49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War, 44% Say Hussein
June 23, 2005--Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that President Bush is more responsible for starting the War with Iraq than Saddam Hussein. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 44% take the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the responsibility.
In late 2002, months before the fighting began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the War. Just one-in-four thought the President was doing the provoking at that time.
The biggest change in perceptions has come among Democrats.
In 2002, the party of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi was divided on this point. By a 49% to 34% margin, liberal Democrats at the time said Bush bore most of the responsibility. Conservative Democrats placed the blame on Hussein by a 54% to 30% margin.
Now, however, 78% of all Democrats say that Bush is more responsible for starting the War than Hussein. Just 18% take the opposite view.
Republicans, by a 76% to 17% margin, say that Hussein is responsible.
Among those not affiliated with either major party, 52% name Bush and 34% Hussein.
Demographic details available for Premium Members.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.
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Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
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