Amazing poll numbers coming out of Iraq on optimism

Now let’s see just how many of those cut and run Dems cite this poll when talking about how we need to get out immediately:

An ABC News poll in Iraq, conducted with Time magazine and other media partners, includes some remarkable results: Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.

Surprisingly, given the insurgents’ attacks on Iraqi civilians, more than six in 10 Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in a poll in June 2004. And 61 percent say local security is good — up from 49 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.

Nonetheless, nationally, security is seen as the most pressing problem by far; 57 percent identify it as the country’s top priority. Economic improvements are helping the public mood.

Average household incomes have soared by 60 percent in the last 20 months (to $263 a month), 70 percent of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively, and consumer goods are sweeping the country. In early 2004, 6 percent of Iraqi households had cell phones; now it’s 62 percent. Ownership of satellite dishes has nearly tripled, and many more families now own air conditioners (58 percent, up from 44 percent), cars, washing machines and kitchen appliances.

There are positive political signs as well. Three-quarters of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week, 70 percent approve of the new constitution, and 70 percent — including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike — want Iraq to remain a unified country.

Interest in politics has soared.

Preference for a democratic political structure has advanced, to 57 percent of Iraqis, while support for an Islamic state has lost ground, to 14 percent (the rest, 26 percent, chiefly in Sunni Arab areas, favor a “single strong leader.”)

Whatever the current problems, 69 percent of Iraqis expect things for the country overall to improve in the next year — a remarkable level of optimism in light of the continuing violence there. However, in a sign of the many challenges ahead, this optimism is far lower in Sunni Arab-dominated provinces, where just 35 percent are optimistic about the country’s future.

There are some negative numbers from the poll as well (that the Dems I’m sure will spin) but, as Captain Ed points out, even among the negatives there are positives:

It turns out that 80% of Iraqis don’t want the Americans out “right now”, but only 26%. In fact, 52% want the US to leave no sooner than when their army and security forces have received adequate training to handle internal and external threats by themselves — which is exactly what the Bush administration plan requires.

This is good news to hear going into this week’s coming elections (the 15th). Early voting started today (see photos here at Iraq the Model). In an unexpected turn of events, Iraqi ‘insurgents’ are urging Sunnis to vote, and have said they would, if necessary, protect voting stations against any possible planned election day attacks ordered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (thanks to FT for the tip).

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