New poll shows Southern California GOP voters conflicted

Republicans in Congressional District 50 in Southern California are divided over how President George Bush has conducted the Iraq War, according to a poll released today by Courage Campaign, a liberal 527 group based in Los Angeles, and MyDD, a political blog. (527’s are organizations named after the section in the U.S. tax code that governs groups formed to conduct political actitivies.)

The poll was conducted from August 2-3 with a total of 308 respondents. Wright Consulting Services of Phoenix surveyed Democratic, Republican and Independent voters in the June 6 run-off between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby as well as non-voters who participated in either the 2003 recall election or the 2004 presidential election. Complete poll results are available at www.couragecampaign.org/cd50poll. (Bilbray won the run-off but faces Busby in the general election in November.)

Among poll findings:

63 percent of Republicans say that the president has made a lot or some mistakes in conducting the war in

34 percent of Republicans believe that Bush was not truthful about the war

34 percent of Republican voters believe that Bush should probably or definitely be held accountable for the situation in Iraq

40 percent of Republicans surveyed feel the Democrats are most likely to hold Bush accountable, versus only 11 percent who feel Republicans will.

This rift, Matt Stoller of MyDD said in a press release, “parallels the Vietnam-era split in the Democratic Party base.”

According Chris Bowers, also of MyDD, the poll “shows that communicating a message to hold the Bush administration accountable for mistakes in Iraq should find wide-ranging appeal.”

“The message is very clear,” said Rick Jacobs Chair of The Courage Campaign in the same release. “People do not trust George Bush on his conduct of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They believe that a strong opposition party, the Democrats, is the only viable means by which true oversight and thereby accountability can be injected into a bloated government run amok.”

Jacobs is the founder and chairman of the Courage Campaign. He led Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in California and serves as senior advisor to Democracy for America, a liberal grassroots organization.

Chris Bowers is a blogger and an internet consultant based in Philadelphia.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen