EUGENE VOLOKH, WHO EXCELS AT POLL-DEBUNKING, is at it again. Looking at a Los Angeles Times poll that was touted as showing opposition to war, Volokh notes that that’s not really true. Volokh also finds a gender gap, but it’s not the one some people would expect:
If no evidence of weapons of mass destruction were found, men would oppose the war 55-37, but women would be evenly split (45-43 in favor, but the gap is statistically insignificant). Surely runs against the conventional wisdom of belligerent men / peaceful women. On the other hand, on many other questions, women seem less supportive of Bush’s foreign policy, and more pessimistic about the outcome of a possible war; what’s more, on Q 63, which asks “Suppose President George W. Bush decides to order U.S. troops into a ground attack against Iraqi forces. Would you support or oppose that decision?,” men say “support” by 64-33, and women only by 52-37. Mighty odd — does this mix of data carry some deep hidden insight, is this a reflection of the possibility that many voters’ views are rather ill-formed and may thus yield seemingly inconsistent results, or is there an error in the polltakers’ reporting of the data?
This Washington Post poll story has an interesting bellicose-woman quote:
“We need to get Saddam Hussein out of power, even if it means using nuclear weapons, particularly if they attack us with dirty weapons,” said Rebecca Wingo, 35, a trucking dispatcher who lives in Johnstown, Ohio. “When you’re dealing with people like him, the only thing they understand is brute force.”
I can’t find a gender breakdown, but the poll in question does indicate considerable support for using nuclear weapons under the right circumstances. And there’s this:
Democrats hold more modest advantages over the GOP on domestic issues such as health care, education, Social Security and prescription drugs, issues that only a third or fewer Americans now rate as top priorities for Bush and Congress.
The Republican Party, by 44 to 41 percent, continues to be viewed by the public as the party best able to deal with the country’s biggest problems.
Bush’s overall job approval rating stood at 66 percent. Even larger percentages of Americans said they approved of the way the president is handling the anti-terrorism campaign (79 percent), while two-thirds approved of the way he is dealing with homeland security concerns. Nearly six in 10 — 58 percent — approved of the way he is handling the confrontation with Iraq.
So far, it appears, the Lott affair isn’t doing irreparable damage. All the more reason for the Republicans to get rid of him quick.