Words fail (via Jim Lobe at IPS):
Yes, it’s apparently true: 63% of Republicans still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded it in 2003. That, according to a remarkable new survey on foreign policy attitudes of self-identified Republicans, Democrats, and independents that was noted by Dan Drezner in his blog today and released by the main researcher, Benjamin Valentino at Dartmouth College. The detailed poll (65 questions), which queried a total of 1056 respondents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.18%, was conducted by YouGov from April 26 to May 2.
It covers quite a broad range of topics and regions, but I was predictably most interested in the questions about the Middle East, particularly Israel. There was only one question (Q46) which dealt directly with Iran; to wit, “if Iran produces a nuclear weapon, how likely do you think it is that Iran would use its nuclear weapon against Israel.” Overall, 69% of respondents said it was either “very likely” (42.2%) or “somewhat likely” (26.9%) — a rather dramatic demonstration of how effective Israel and the Israel lobby have been in shaping public opinion here, given that U.S. and Israeli experts generally agree that such an attack, while possible, would be highly unlikely. An impressive 64.5% of Republicans–or slightly more than the percentage who believe Iraq had WMD — consider such an attack “very likely”; 24% “somewhat likely.” The comparable figures for Democrats are 30.5% and 31.5%, respectively.