From USA Today
, evidence that people in Iraq see things looking up since the elections:
The poll, by the International Republican Institute (IRI), due to be made public today, also found that nearly half of Iraqis believe that religion has a special role to play in government.
The survey of 1,967 Iraqis was conducted Feb. 27-March 5, after Iraq held its first free elections in half a century in January. According to the poll, 62% say the country is headed in the right direction and 23% say it is headed in the wrong direction. That is the widest spread recorded in seven polls by the group, says Stuart Krusell, IRI director of operations for Iraq. In September, 45% of Iraqis thought the country was headed in the wrong direction and 42% thought it was headed in the right direction. The IRI is a non-partisan, U.S. taxpayer-funded group that promotes democracy abroad.
Note that three of Iraq’s 18 provinces were excluded because of security and logistics concerns. But even if we assume that everybody in those provinces would have given a negative assessment, the poll would have shown a majority saying the country is headed in the right direction.