UPDATE on the Zogby poll

Regarding the somewhat controversial troop poll, I’ve submitted this to Zogby:

Do your “Executive Summaries” (listed as available for $19.95) include the actual survey questions?

If not, how does this “Executive Summary” differ from the write-up available on the Zogby site?

Are the actual questions available?


Not that I expect to get an answer.

The key is to know what questions the troops were answering. Secondary to that, but still important, would be demographic info. The write-up notes that Marine results were different than the poll overall, for instance. Knowing whether the Marines are represented proportionally to their numbers in Iraq would matter.

It’s not just that the results of this poll don’t line up with the public declarations of the Pentagon or the Bush administration. It’s that they’re vastly different than nearly every other indicator we’ve had so far.

It seems a bit strange that the results have largely been reported in the mainstream media word-for-word straight from Zogby’s summary. That might be acceptable if this poll simply supported earlier indicators and signals, but that really isn’t the case. Didn’t it occur to anyone to ask how the results were obtained?

UPDATE: Jason at Generation Why shelled out the 20 bucks and apparently got the questions with the package. He lists the full “withdrawal” question/answer. He doesn’t say whether the Executive Summary includes any demographic data, but what I’ve read elsewhere makes me think it probably doesn’t.

Plus, he suggests that the withdrawal timing response might have more to do with announced scenarios rather than opinions that plans should change. And he’s got this for supporting material:

The very next survey question sheds some light:
“According to recent polls, about half of Americans favor a rapid withdrawal and half favor an open-ended occupation of Iraq. Which do you believe best describes the motives of those favoring rapid withdrawal?”

36.9 percent said it was because “they are unpatriotic”.

Unpatriotic! So if we’re to believe Kristof’s analysis, then over a third of our troops are “urging” something they believe is “unpatriotic”.

In fact, further down in Zogby’s report comes this little nugget:

A majority of troops (53%) said the U.S. should double both the number of troops and bombing missions in order to control the insurgency.

Wait… I thought the troops were “urging pullout”… So we’re to believe they are “urging pullout” and simultaneously want to double the number troops? What sense does that make?

Now, it’s possible that many of those calling for for immediate withdrawal (29%) are not within the 36% who think calls for such action are unpatriotic. There’s plenty of room for both that and for them to not be within the 53% calling for more troops.

Still, that would indicate that there’s about one-third of the troops that are just plain on a totally different page than nearly everyone else. Kudos to Jason for taking the initiative to get the summary.

Jason’s post is also available at Newsbusters.

UPDATE: Apparently only three questions from the poll are actually listed in the Executive Summary, not the entire package.

More here.

UPDATE: Much more, including the actual questions, here.


  1. Wow, that’s a LOT different than what the original data suggested. There should be a law that you can’t cherry pick the data in a poll to prove your point or something. It is just propaganda if you do.

  2. I don’t belive any polls I see, either for or against something. I just can’t understand how they can be legit if there only asking a small percentage of the total. Plus there are so many ways to ‘game’ the questions and the form there presented in.

  3. ‘ The troops have drawn different conclusions about fellow citizens back home. Asked why they think some Americans favor rapid U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, 37% of troops serving there said those Americans are unpatriotic, while 20% believe people back home don’t believe a continued occupation will work. Another 16% said they believe those favoring a quick withdrawal do so because they oppose the use of the military in a pre-emptive war, while 15% said they do not believe those Americans understand the need for the U.S. troops in Iraq’ That says they see Americans calling for rapid withdrawal are considered 37%’unpatriotic’ the rest 20%defeatist, 16%pacifist, or just plain 15%dum. So they can’t be slamming the people they agree with. Thats alot more than 29% when you add it up. I would guess they were asked the question in when will we be ready to pull out type way. The soldiers see the progress the ME refuses to recognize. Massive troop reductions if things continue the way they are evident unless you get your news from the ME only.

  4. Amazing, Zogby’s lame, unpointed questions! HOW LONG SHOULD U.S. TROOPS STAY IN IRAQ? ‘They should withdraw immediately’ – 29.0% ‘They should withdraw within the next six months’ – 22.4% ‘They should withdraw within six to twelve months’ – 20.6% ‘They should stay as long as they are needed’ – 22.9% ‘Not sure’ – 5.0% The problem with these questions is their soft open-endedness. Depending on the day of the week, you might hear me say U.S. troops should be out within the next six months. But that doesn’t mean I want them all out in six months. And it doesn’t mean I want any U.S. troops withdrawn if it would endanger the democratization of Iraq. The way Zogby’s questions are put, they’re almost a wish list. Don’t you wish U.S. troops were home from Iraq within six months? Well, sure I do. And if you’re asking troops facing real hazards in Iraq, their answers could mean, yes, I hope I am home within six months. Heck, sitting here in the States, I wish U.S. troops were home from Germany and South Korea, but I’m realistic enough to know they all probably can’t come home immediately or even this year. Next time, Zogby might try these questions on Iraq: Should the U.S. withdraw all troops from Iraq, even if it means abandoning the democratization of that nation and surrendering Iraq to terrorists and fascists? How soon should the U.S. withdraw 50 percent of American troops from Iraq? How soon should the U.S. withdraw all troops from Iraq? To beat the insurgents, should the U.S. double troop strength in Iraq? (Similar to real Zogby question) If yes, how soon should the U.S. double troop strength in Iraq? How long should that doubled troop strength last? How much more time do you believe Iraq will need U.S. military assistance before the Iraqis can handle 90 percent of their own security?

  5. I’m curious what percent of those who want a quick or near-term withdrawal would consider there mission a success. I’d bet a number of them think they’ve done enough, and the Iraqi forces are ready to handle the job. No way to tell though from the questions asked though :(

  6. Disregard my last post I spoke before going to the links. Didn’t realize that was the question. I’m with Frank Lame question could be interpreted a 100 ways. I think their opinion on the ‘immediate strategic redeployment’ crowd thou says it all.

  7. They could have made the withdrawal number even higher if they asked the question right. ‘Do you think we should stay in Iraq, even if it means certain death for you, your fellow soldiers, and all Americans at home and abroad?’ I bet they could have gotten 100% for withdrawal with that one :)

  8. Update: Who paid for the Zogby poll? ‘The Center for Peace and Global Studies’, a group who is for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Both Zogby brothers are virulently anti-Iraq war. I wonder if either of these facts influenced the outcome of the poll?

  9. This poll smells to me; I think it was loaded and I would like to know who actually conducted it via Le Moyne College…which appears to have its own academic credibility issues… Understand: Mr. Zogby is the brother of the other Zogby, head of the Arab-American Institute that has taken an anti-war position and to me waffles on the threat of Islamic fundamentalism to the free world. I find it hard to believe that 85% of soldiers believe they are in Iraq because of Saddam’s link to 9-11. I would like to see how those questions were phrased and offered. …37% of troops also believe those supporting immediate or rapid withdrawal from Iraq are ‘unpatriotic.’ Does the 20$ give you Zogby’s secret propoganda techniques as well? My bottom-line: this poll is unreliable. Specific assessments follow: —- Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay ‘as long as they are needed’ [Le Moyne College is a Jesuit institution known to be influenced by liberation theology doctrines; this College is known for left-wing;anti-war activism… See also FIRE: Court Rebukes Le Moyne College for Censorship] The poll, conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies, showed that 29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq ‘immediately,’ while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay ‘as long as they are needed.’ [that question is ‘push polling’– first, most soldiers are there on a 1-year rotation so they expect to leave in no more than 12 months: the question has 3 options all w/in 12 months, the fourth basically asks will you stay ‘forever’ not surprised at the answer–‘push polling’.] Another 16% said they believe those favoring a quick withdrawal do so because they oppose the use of the military in a pre-emptive war, [Pre-emptive war–that one sounds like a ‘loaded question’] The survey included 944 military respondents interviewed at several undisclosed locations throughout Iraq. The names of the specific locations and specific personnel who conducted the survey are being withheld for security purposes. Surveys were conducted face-to-face using random sampling techniques. The margin of error for the survey, conducted Jan. 18 through Feb. 14, 2006, is +/- 3.3 percentage points. [random sampling techniques is not the same as saying ‘this poll represents a scientific random sample of all military personnel in Iraq’ so what the ‘sample’ was is suspect in my judgement. Why are the samplers hidden from view, are they still in country, or back at Le Moyne College, are the anti-war college students, Muslim college students etc?…too many unanswered questions on this poll.] To repeat the bottom-line: this is unreliable perception management polling.

  10. I’ve found the actual questions at here. It looks pretty straight forward, except that soldiers had to circle numbers instead of actual words.