The Partisan Divide in Iowa

A new Bloomberg / LA Times poll of likely caucus voters in Iowa demonstrates quite clearly how the view of the country is affected by one’s political lens. While the outlook on the GOP side is not exceedingly optimistic, it seems so when paired against the glum worldview held by the Democrats.

Only 8 percent of those Democrats and independents voting in the Iowa Democratic caucuses believe the United States is headed in the right direction, with more than 11 times that number, 89 percent, of the view it is seriously off on the wrong track. More than half (53 percent) of Republicans and independents likely to vote in the GOP caucuses believe the country is going in the right direction, with 40 percent believing it is on the wrong track.

The difference in judging the state of the nation’s economy also has a great partisan divide with Republicans (74 percent) nearly 50-points more optimistic that the economy is going well compared to the Democrats (28 percent).

The divide is even greater when assessing the Iraq war—73 percent of Republican caucus voters still believe it was worth going to war, while only 12 percent of Democratic caucus voters hold that view. However, despite 83 percent of Democratic voters believing it was not worth going to war, only 28 percent believe the troops should come home right away; 60 percent believe they should come home within the next year. Sixty-eight percent of Republican voters believe the troops should stay in Iraq “as long as it takes,” compared to just 7 percent on the Democratic side.

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