March 25, 2003 - New Yorkers Split On War With Iraq, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Support Increases As Fighting Begins
New York City residents are deeply divided over the war with Iraq, but support for the war has increased since the shooting started, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The two-part poll, conducted by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Tuesday and Wednesday before the war began, and Saturday and Sunday, shows New Yorkers opposed to the war 59 - 37 percent before the first strike on Baghdad Wednesday night. Opposition shrunk to a 49 - 47 percent split by the weekend.

Approval of the way President George W. Bush is handling the war follows the same trend, from a 61 - 35 percent disapproval last week when it was still a war of words, to a 49 - 45 percent disapproval by the weekend.

"'Rally 'round the flag,' is the resounding cry heard throughout the nation. In New York City, that cry is muted," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "New York always marches to its own drummer, but as the images of war flash across our television screens, the city's attitudes are coming closer to the rest of the nation's.

"Here at home, New Yorkers treat the threat of terrorism like the weather: Everyone talks about it, but very few people do anything about it."

The war with Iraq increases the short-term risk of terror in New York City, residents said 72 - 17 percent last week, a number that had dropped to 62 - 25 percent by the weekend.

Last week, 75 percent of New Yorkers were "very worried" or "somewhat worried" about another terrorist attack on the city, a number that dropped to 67 percent by the end of the survey.

But only 18 percent of New Yorkers say they've changed their day-to-day routine, while 81 percent say they've continued life as usual.

The poll of New York City residents also finds:
  • 51 - 40 percent disapproved last week of the way the United Nations is handling Iraq and Saddam Hussein, with disapproval growing to 54 - 34 percent by the weekend;
  • 59 - 29 percent felt last week that there will be a significant number of U.S. military casualties, a number that spiked to 65 - 26 percent on Sunday;
  • 37 - 53 percent said last week that the city is not prepared to deal with another terrorist attack, shifting to a 46 - 46 percent split by the weekend;
  • 78 - 12 percent believed last week that Iraq does possess weapons of mass destruction, a number that shifted to 70 - 17 percent by the weekend.
Anti-war protests are good because they appeal to the nation's conscience, 53 percent of New Yorkers said last week, while 32 percent said they are harmful because they undercut the war effort. That number had shrunk to 45 - 40 percent by the weekend.

"Most of the peace march was peaceful, but the impact was not what the marchers had hoped to achieve. Before the march, New Yorkers said resoundingly that anti-war protest was a good thing. After the march, the feelings were mixed," Carroll said.

On March 18 - 19, before the bombing of Baghdad began Quinnipiac University surveyed 654 New York City residents, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent. On Saturday and Sunday, 543 residents were surveyed, with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the nation as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Approve 33% 41% Disapprove 58 52 DK/NA 9 7



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq and Saddam Hussein?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Approve 35% 45% Disapprove 61 49 DK/NA 4 6



3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the United Nations is handling the situation with Iraq and Saddam Hussein?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Approve 40% 34% Disapprove 51 54 DK/NA 8 12



4. Do you support or oppose the United States going to war with Iraq?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Support 37% 47% Oppose 59 49 DK/NA 4 4



5. How long do you think a/the war with Iraq will last - a week or less, a few weeks, several months, about a year or longer than that?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Week or less 11% 4% Few weeks 28 36 Several months 28 35 About a year 7 7 Longer 13 9 DK/NA 12 9



6. Do you think there will or will not be a significant number of U.S. military casualties in a/the war with Iraq?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Yes/Will be 59% 55% No/Will not 29 33 DK/NA 12 12



7. In the short term, do you think going to war with Iraq will increase or decrease the risk of further terrorism in New York City?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Increase 72% 62% Decrease 17 25 DK/NA 10 13



8. In the long term, do you think going to war with Iraq will increase or decrease the risk of further terrorism in New York City?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Increase 58% 52% Decrease 31 38 DK/NA 11 10



9. How worried are you about another terrorist attack in New York City -- very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried or not worried at all?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Very worried 42% 33% Smwht worried 33 34 Not too worried 16 16 Not worried at all 8 15 DK/NA 1 1



10. Do you think New York City is adequately prepared to deal with another terrorist attack, or not?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Yes 37% 46% No 53 46 DK/NA 10 7



11. In general, do you think New York City is about as safe as other big cities, less safe, or more safe?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


About as safe 38% 39% Less safe 34 25 More safe 24 33 DK/NA 5 3



12a. After President Bush's speech on Iraq Monday night, did you or members of your family go about day-to-day life as usual or did you make some changes?

                Tue 
                Wed 


Life as usual 83% Made some changes 13 DK/NA 3



12b. As a result of what's happening in Iraq, have you or members of your family gone about day-to-day life as usual or have you made some changes?

                Sat
                Sun


Life as usual 81% Made some changes 18 DK/NA 1



13. Do you think Iraq currently possesses weapons of mass destruction or not?

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


Yes 78% 70% No 12 17 DK/NA 11 13



14. Do you think the Americans who are protesting against war with Iraq are - doing more harm by undercutting the war effort or doing more good by appealing to the nation's conscience

                Tue   Sat
                Wed   Sun


More harm 32% 40% More good 53 45 DK/NA 15 16