Saturday, December 02, 2006

Selected Poll data from Lebanon

Parts of a poll were released recently. The poll is entitled:

Lebanese Public Opinion Amidst a New Cycle of Violence

First, a word about the questions that do not appear in the summary posted on the web. Obvious ones are missing such as: Do you support Hezbollah? Which domestic leader do you most admire Nasrallah, Seniora, Aoun, etc. Polls are not being made available in English that directly ask Lebanese the most important questions about Lebanon's future. I believe that pollsters at least have an idea of the results these polls would yield and have made a decision to protect their customers from some realities.

Second, I predicted that Nasrallah would not attempt to bring down the government but instead the government in place would support Nasrallah's program. My prediction has turned out wrong. I underestimated the capacity of Lebanon's government to ignore public opinion in favor of pressure from the US.

But now here are some results that are approximations based on bar charts in the linked pdf. Hopefully Brookings will release the entire poll at some point with actual numbers, and hopefully Lebanese answers to the most relevant questions will be on that poll.

After the war, your view on Hezbollah is
More Positive: 40%
More Negative: 28%
Not Changed: 25%

There is international pressure for Iran to curtail its nuclear program.
Iran has a right to its program: 56%
Iran should be pressured to stop its program: 38%

Opinion towards the US:
Very Unfavorable: 53%
Unfavorable: 13%
Favorable: 18%
Very Favorable: 9%

Confidence in the US
No Confidence: 60%
Some Confidence: 27%
A Lot of Confidence: 10%

Democracy as US objective
Not Real Objective: 64%
Real Objective Pursued the Wrong Way: 23%
Important Objective - Will Make a Difference: 12%

Leader you admire most
Chirac: 23%
Chavez: 17%
Ahmadinejad: 10%

One of two countries named that are biggest threat to you:
Israel: 82%
US: 60%
Syria: 37%
Iran: 22%

What party do you support in Palestine:
Hamas: 15%
Fatah/Abbas: 8%
A Unity Government: 56%

While we are at it, pollsters have to have informed estimates of the populations of various groups. It would be nice to release what proportion of Lebanon's population is Shiite, Sunni, Christian and etc. It is a pre-Internet mentality that they choose to protect their readers from that information.