In my last entry, I talked about the president's reversal on al Qaeda, with Mr. Bush now saying we've denuded the group to the point where it is no longer the world's greatest terrorist threat. Instead, he says smaller, more agile terrorist groups are the target of our war on terrorism.
While Bush is trekking cross country, reiterating this message, public support for his ability to lead a war on terrorism is, er, sinking. But what's interesting is the gender gap on this issue. I've obtained the gender breakdown on a poll CNN released a couple of days ago.
While overall, men and women are their traditional 10 to 20 points apart on support for U.S. aggression (since the birth of the polling industry, women have tended to espouse peace, men trend toward war), there are some interesting differences in this poll.
Fifty-two percent of men and 58 percent of women told CNN pollsters that they are less likely to support a congressional candidate "who has supported the policies of the Bush administration" on Iraq. So there's a slightly smaller-than-normal gender gap of 6 points on this issue. When men and women are asked point blank whether they favor or oppose the Iraq war, the 10-point difference pretty consistently bubbles to the surface: 46 percent of men favor the war versus 34 percent of women; 64 percent of women oppose the war versus 53 percent of men.
But men have obviously done a much better job of closely following events in Iraq. When pollsters asked, "Do you think Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks, or not?" only 35 percent of men said yes (which is the wrong answer), but 51 percent of women said yes.
Even the president himself, when asked at a news conference within the last month, responded that Saddam Hussein had "nothing" to do with the 9/11 attacks. Now, to excuse the women's mistake, this administration has spent the better part of the past four years claiming Hussein was involved with al Qaeda and anti-American terrorism. But since Bush's recent admission was given tons of coverage, all I can say is, Ladies, study up!