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January 22, 2005
More Evidence Of Iraqi Enthusiasm

After the International Republican Institute released the results of a poll that showed a likely turnout of over 80% in the upcoming Iraqi elections, many news outlets responded with a yawn. The Washington Post covered the news but ran their story on page A13; many didn't bother to cover it at all. So I expect even less coverage of a Department of Defense statement that reports an Iraqi poll verifies the IRI data (via Kokonut Pundits):

According to a public opinion survey in Iraq taken in early January, more than 90 percent of Iraqis believe it is important to vote in the election. A total of 82.9 percent said it was "very important," and 9.4 percent said it was "somewhat important."

And what of the theological difference between the Shi'a and the Sunni? Apparently that has been exaggerated, according to the Iraqi pollsters:

The breakdown along religious lines shows 70.1 percent of Sunnis listing very important and 15.9 percent listing somewhat. A total of 86 percent of Sunnis, therefore, believe the election is important to the future of Iraq.

Sunnis make up about 20 percent of Iraq's population. They were the dominant group under the former regime. Some Sunni groups have called for Sunnis to boycott the election, but this poll seems to show that the calls are not effective. ...

On the all-important question of whether they will vote or not in the election, 87 percent said they were very likely or somewhat likely to vote on Jan. 30. Along religious lines, almost 80 percent of Sunnis said they were likely to vote, and more than 90 percent of Shiias said they would go to the polls. Roughly 10 percent of the sample said they would not vote, and the rest didn't know.

The survey showed that 63.6 percent of Iraqis believe there will be free and fair elections in the country, with 17.8 percent responding they do not believe the elections will be free and fair. The rest listed don't know or not applicable. Overall, more women said they believe the elections would be free and fair than men 65.1 percent to 62 percent.

This was released on January 19th -- and according to Technorati, the only links to this story are from Kokonut Pundits and Cool Blue Blog. A Google search on the title and one on the reporter's name shows no mainstream media links. One would think that the news of a potential 80% turnout for the upcoming parliamentary elections might be major news, especially for an American public bombarded by doom-and-gloom stories from Iraq.

If you think that, however, you just haven't been paying attention. The result of these elections will shock a world that has been fooled into almost abandoning the Iraqis to terrorists by a biased press and isolationist Left. When the Iraqis stand up and demand their freedom and self-government in anything close to these numbers, a lot of people will scratch their heads and wonder how they could have been so sadly mistaken.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 22, 2005 1:48 PM

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