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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

South Sours on Iraq Quagmire

Southerners are often characterized as “my country, right or wrong” patriots who provide uncritical support for U.S. military intervention anywhere. But this perception may be simplistic and outdated, according to a recent poll now generating considerable buzz around the blogs. Among other findings, Facing South reports that the poll, conducted by Knowledge Networks for the Institute for Southern Studies/School of Public and International Affairs at N. C. State University 9/19-26 (PDF summary here) indicates:

57% of Southerners believe the U.S. “should have stayed out of Iraq,” compared to 44% who think the U.S. “did the right thing” by taking military action. Nationally, 58% of the public believes the U.S. should have stayed out and 43% now agree with military action.
…30% of those polled in Southern states say the U.S. should “withdraw completely” from Iraq. Those in non-Southern states were less likely to call for a total withdrawal of U.S. troops (26%), but more likely to think U.S. troop levels should be decreased “some” or “a lot” – 34% in non-Southern states, compared to 26% in the South. Put together, 56% of Southerners and 59% in other regions support a decrease or withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The poll suggests that a political earthquake is beginning to rumble, not just in the blue and purple states, but nation-wide. This should be very good news for Democratic candidates. The poll also raises interesting questions for ’08, nicely put in Devon’s Blog at TPM Cafe:

Is winning without the south possible? Maybe. Is it necessary? Maybe not

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