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Mark Blumenthal Headshot

.98

Posted: Updated:

You rarely see media pollsters cite correlation coefficients in
their reports. On the other hand, you
rarely see a correlation as strong as the one ABC News Polling Director Gary
Langer cites in his tour
de force summary
of public attitudes on the State of the Union:

The root of
Bush's problems can be summed up in three words: Iraq,
Iraq and Iraq. It drives
his unpopularity. Among people who oppose the war, a mere 10 percent approve of
Bush's job performance; among war supporters, three-quarters approve. The
correlation between attitudes on the war and on Bush is a near-perfect .98.

The extraordinary polarizing effect of
the Iraq War explains more than Bush's problems. It is also the lens through which Americans
currently view much of our national politics. While pollsters have been making that point since
the 2004 elections, the dominance of the Iraq War on our politics has obviously
intensified. Right now, for better or
worse, it's all about Iraq.

Typo corrected