A question in an April 5-9 Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and an April 10 Los Angeles Times article about that poll both included President Bush's argument against a congressional measure providing supplemental funding for the Iraq war that includes a timetable for withdrawal without including the Democratic position in favor of it, though even with the skewed wording, a plurality said they think Bush should sign “a funding authorization that includes a timetable for withdrawal.”
Question 49 in the poll, about whether respondents thought that Bush “should sign a funding authorization that includes a timetable for withdrawal, or should he veto that legislation,” included Bush's argument for his veto threat -- “because he believes it would tie the hands of battlefield commanders and make defeat in Iraq more likely” -- but not Congress' argument for including a timetable in the troop funding bill:
As you may know, Democrats in both houses of Congress passed legislation that ties further funding of the war in Iraq to targeted dates for withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. Bush says he will veto any measure that sets such a timetable because he believes it would tie the hands of battlefield commanders and make defeat in Iraq more likely. Do you think that Bush should sign a funding authorization that includes a timetable for withdrawal, or should he veto that legislation?
But even a question that provided only Bush's arguments resulted in 48 percent saying that Bush should sign a funding bill that contains a timetable, compared with 43 percent who said he should veto the bill.
Question 50 in the poll also omitted the Democratic position, and that, too, resulted in a plurality opposing Bush's view:
If George W. Bush vetoes the legislation, do you think Congress should pass another version of the bill that provides funding for the war without any conditions for troop withdrawal, or should Congress refuse to pass any funding bill until Bush agrees to accept conditions for withdrawal?
The article stated that, according to Question 50, Democrats and Republicans differ on whether Congress should “withhold the funding unless Bush accepts some conditions for troop withdrawal.”
Notwithstanding the claim in the article and poll that the issue concerns whether Congress should “withhold funding” or “refuse to pass any funding bill,” Congress is not debating whether to withhold funding or pass a funding bill; as Media Matters for America has noted, both the House and Senate have passed bills that provide funding for the troops, and it is Bush who has threatened to withhold funding by vetoing the bill. Moreover, the poll question skews the issue by presenting only two options for Congress if Bush vetoes the bill it sends to the White House: Either send a bill with no “conditions for troop withdrawal” or “refuse to pass any funding bill until Bush agrees to accept conditions for withdrawal.” There are other options unmentioned in the question: Congress could also send Bush another funding bill that continues to reflect the will of Congress and the public for commencing redeployment from Iraq. Nonetheless, even with the skewed wording, a narrow plurality of respondents -- 45 percent versus 43 percent -- took the side in favor of provisions for troop redeployment.
From the April 10 Los Angeles Times article:
Respondents were divided along party lines as to whether Gonzales should resign. Among Democrats, 68% said he should do so; among Republicans, 33% said he should depart.
Independents tip the balance -- 57% said they supported calls for his resignation, while 22% said they thought he should stay.
On another issue, the poll found that Americans are also split along partisan lines over pending congressional legislation that would provide new funding for the war in Iraq, but require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from the country.
Asked whether Bush should accept or veto a bill that included a timetable, 48% said he should sign such a measure while 43% said he should reject it. A significant majority of Democrats -- 74% -- backed signing the bill; an even bigger majority of Republicans, 80%, supported a veto.
Bush has pledged to veto a war funding bill if Congress sends it to him with withdrawal language.
If the president carries out his promise, Democratic voters do not want the party's legislators in Washington to reach an accord with him.
Some Democratic congressional leaders have conceded that that they almost assuredly cannot get the two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate needed to override a veto. So they would then face a choice between approving the war funding bill without a timetable or blocking the money -- and come under withering criticism from Bush for failing to support U.S. troops on the battlefield.
Given that choice, 66% of Democrats want Congress to hold firm and withhold the funding unless Bush accepts some conditions for a troop withdrawal.
Among Republicans, 73% say they want Congress to fund the war without conditions.