Saturday, January 22, 2005

# Posted 4:48 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

REMARKABLE IF TRUE: "Despite Insurgent Threats and Lack of Democratic Tradition, 80 Percent Say They Are Likely to Vote." I can only imagine the avalanche of "I told you so"'s that would follow this kind of result in the Iraqi elections. (Naturally, OxBlog reserves the right to participate in the avalanche.)

The poll that discovered the 80% figure was conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), the GOP affiliate that is part of the National Endowment for Democracy. I would feel better if someone else conducted the poll, but there is no reason to doubt IRI's integrity. And in eight more days, we'll know if the poll was right.

UPDATE: Here's a classic bit from the NYT:
Every single Shiite interviewed for this article said he or she planned to vote. Though there are a few Sunni leaders running for office, all the Sunnis interviewed, except one, said they were going to boycott. That could mean a humiliation for American forces and the new Iraqi government, who have relentlessly pounded the Sunni areas in a so far unsuccessful campaign to wipe out the resistance.
Hmmm. I never thought "humiliation" consisted of overwhelming support from Shi'ites and Kurds, who together make up 80% of the Iraqi population. Pray tell, twelve or fifteen months ago, how many journalists expected even majority support from the Shi'ites? If memory serves, all we were hearing back then was how Moqtada Sadr represented the true face of Iraqi Shi'ism.

UPDATE: Spencer Ackerman comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the IRI poll. Also check out his post about Iraqi politicians' vague stance on how long American troops should stay in Iraq.
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