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ROBBINS tests 'new dynamic' in U.S. foreign policy in Iraq/region
  May 22, 2007

This is a random telephone sample of 1,050 U.S. citizens between May 10th and 15th, 2007 and was sponsored by ROBBINS Media Works and another. This poll features a margin of error of 3.25%, 19 times out of 20 @99% competency.

Question #1
Over the past few weeks the political dynamic with respect to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and specifically Iraq, has taken on a new perspective, particularly with rhethoric concerning Iran as an 'Evil Empire' turned down somewhat. Assuming that this statement is a reasonably accurate depiction of this political situation, how would you rate President George W. Bush's job performance of late?
Better    11 %
Worse    04 %
The Same    85 %
Undecided/No Opinion    04 %
Question #2
Which of the two main political parties in the United States of America better reflects your aspirations for U.S. foreign policy in Iraq and the region?
The U.S. Democratic Party    54 %
The U.S. Republican Party    44 %
Undecided/No Opinion    02 %
Question #3
Here are two offerings for President and Vice-President of the United States of America in 2008. The choices offered for each party do NOT specify which of the two in either choice is for President and Vice President. You may decide which if any from the two parties, and the two options within that party you find most attractive. Which do your prefer?
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama    55 %
John McCain and Mitt Romney    45 %
Undecided/None    12 %
Commentary
Responses to question #1 suggest that George Bush's support at least in terms of foreign policy in Iraq, dealings with Iran and the region generally has improved more than it has worsened. Although the progress for George Bush in terms of net increase in support may appear on its face to be modest, these numbers particularly when polling U.S. citizens, is not insignificant. It suggests that President George W. Bush is 'out of the doghouse' and 'back in the game'.
Although President Bush's particular circumstances in the Middle East are improving with U.S. respondents, Americans by a clear majority (and anything in a U.S. poll over 51% is a clear majority given how tight the margins for change are), favour the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at this time.
The combination of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has a majority of Americans excited, however John McCain and Mitt Romney offer an attractive combination as well.
There is no question that President George W. Bush's ability to rebound has been terribly underestimated. As a campaigner he is every bit as good as former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who may have been the best ever.
No matter the pressure or disparaging remarks made about White House policy in Iraq, the President has hung in there, and even now (with significant political pressure upon him) has managed to convey a willingness to negotiate and modify his approach to the region. This, plus a more 'relaxed' approach in other aspects of his Presidential duties, has a noteworthy number of American respondents looking more favourably at the President. He has managed to appear less intransigent, while the Democrats have nominally appeared more heavy-handed (on Middle East/Iraq policy).
President Bush's unwavering loyalty to his friends has hurt him politically from time to time, but at preent it is winning him support. He is loyal to a fault, but the fault is not in the forefront of voter's minds at present.
Americans in this ROBBINS poll articulate the same sentiment they have for an extended period, that they would like to see Americans out of Iraq, although an increase in support for John McCain reflects that his position on the region and particularly with Iran has emerged as 'different' from other candidates, and is thus solidifying support for him as the Republican frontrunner for those who see foreign policy in the region as important to U.S. strategic interests.
Many Americans are infatuated with the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama combination, and this 'heady' attitude does not appear to be dying down anytime soon. I think for many Americans the idealism associated with a Clinton White House, (and this is clearly on Senator Clinton's terms) coupled with the absolute refreshing candidacy of Barack Obama is welcome relief to many who had felt bogged down by a very ugly war in Iraq. Also, I sincerely believe that some Americans are beginning to realize just how much of a contribution African Americans have made to that country, and this translates to continued support for the Junior Senator. It doesn't hurt that Mr. Obama has a brilliant mind and is very attractive to people.
John Edwards remains in the race, however his wife's illness with cancer, has brought him much support, it nonetheless reflects a personal struggle which for many Americans is not part of the happiness and joy which seems to be uplifting the Clinton-Obama combination in the minds of tens of millions of Americans.
I would dearly love to see either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama in San Francisco playing Scott McKenzie's original rendition of that 60's song "San Francisco". Now that's a statement. Wasn't Ms. Clinton a hippy many years ago? Forgive me if I am mistaken.
Senator Clinton who is clearly the odds on favourite to be the candidate for the Democratic Party (this has not wavered over a fairly long period of time), and thus the next President of the United States in 2008 seems unable to make a mistake. Her positive/pragmatic approach is winning her considerable support, although she has had confronted a considerable challenge walking the fine line on foreign policy. Her campaign is unquestionable the best at crafting message.
Where Ms. Clinton may have appeared 'bitchy' to voters some years ago, we hear nothing of that sort now. In fact she is given credit by many respondents for being strong, and very strong while her husband was President. This has consolidated in a positive way for her since she began to campaign (informally/formally) many months ago.
I believe that any pressure brought by those who might question a woman in the White House will ultimately work to Ms. Clinton's advantage, as I think that bias has generally set sail some time ago in the minds of most Americans.
Suggestions some weeks ago by mainstream press that Senator McCain's campaign was in trouble can be abandoned. Americans may not all agree with Senator McCain, but in terms of public perception this man who spent years being tortured in Viet Nam has a strength about him which is nearly super human. None of it is arrogance, it reflects a quiet almost humble resolve which many Americans deeply respect. This respect is not just from veterans or older Americans, it is from younger people as well. As this man's story comes out (and it will again) he will invariably get a huge bump as voters unaware of his history and contribution realize what kind of incredible person John McCain is, and what type of leader he can be. Mitt Romney has been under some pressure of late with respect to his Mormon religion and whether or not that will hurt him or help him. However this is one heck of a successful person, and the crowds love this guy. His political machine and strategy has been egrigiously underestimated by the mainstream as there is more historical information coming out about the Mormon history on alternative stations and in print than I have seen for some time. This dynamic insofar as religion is concerned will prove very interesting if Mr. Romney can continue to achieve the type of support he has presently. There are elements of the Mormon lifestyle that are very attractive to many Americans, particularly their clean living (slightly less of sin) comes into play. Mr. Romney will need to be clear on where he stands on issues such as abortion etc. which may ultimately impact on his overall success moving forward.
The prospect of a John McCain White House unquestionably scares the hell out of America's enemies. In a sense there is a kind of Churchillian undercurrent to American perceptions about John McCain. He is tough on foreign policy, even 'hawkish' but he is seen as more resolute and committed by honour and integrity than hyperbole. This should work well for him in the months to come.
Glen P. Robbins
(604) 942-3757
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