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On the first full day of war in Iraq, March 20, The Crimson conducted a telephone poll of Harvard undergraduates’ opinions on the war, the fight against terrorism and other related topics. Partial results of the poll, which surveyed 400 randomly selected students, were published in Friday’s news section, along with a front page story, “Crimson Poll: Majority Against Military Action.” Below is the full survey and response data, along with more analyses and comparisons to national public opinion data.
Harvard undergraduates diverge from the greater public in a number of important ways. Most obviously, they are far more opposed to the war than the public nationwide. Harvard undergrads were more pessimistic about the war earlier. And a gender gap—in which women tend to oppose the war more then men—was wider at Harvard than elsewhere.
The 400 students came from a pool of roughly 1000 undergrads called over the course of 12 hours on March 20. Respondents were asked 10 questions. All poll results—including the national data—had margins of error of less than +/- 5%.
Question 1 : To what extent do you support or oppose the current U.S. military action against Iraq, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “strongly support,” 2 being “somewhat support,” 3 being “undecided,” 4 being “somewhat oppose,” and 5 being “strongly oppose.”
Question 2 (asked of those who opposed the military action or were undecided): Would you have supported a U.N.-backed military action?
Question 3 (asked of those who supported the military action): Which of the following should be the top U.S. objectives for this military action: removing Saddam Hussein from power, eliminating the threat of biological and chemical weapons, both or something else?
Question 4: Would you ever consider volunteering to serve in this military action?
Question 5: To what extent do you support or oppose the Bush Administration's handling of its war against terrorism, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "strongly support," 2 being "somewhat support," 3 being "undecided," 4 being "somewhat oppose," and 5 being "strongly oppose."
Question 6: To what extent do you support or oppose the Bush Administration's handling of this military action against Iraq, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "strongly support," 2 being "somewhat support," 3 being "undecided," 4 being "somewhat oppose," and 5 being "strongly oppose."
Question 7: Do you have any relatives or close friends in the armed services who could be involved in this military action?
Question 8: In your opinion, is the U.S. military involvement in Iraq more likely to be fairly quick and successful or long and costly?
Question 9 and 10 asked respondents' class year and sex. 47.5% of respondents were female and 52.5% of respondents were male. 17.8% of respondents were members of the class '03, 23.5% were members of the class of '04, 26% were members of the class of '05, and 32.5% were members of the class of '06.
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