Iraqis Optimistic About Future, Poll Shows

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:14 PM EDT

( - A public opinion survey of Iraqis said to be the first of its kind shows that more than two-thirds of respondents think their country will be in better shape five years from now.

The survey by Zogby International, which included 600 adults in four Iraqi cities, showed that 31.7 percent of respondents think the country will be "much better" in five years, with another 38 percent saying Iraq will be "somewhat better."

Among those surveyed were Arabs, Kurds, Turkaman and Assyrians living in different parts of the country, including Basra, Karkouk, Mousel and Al Ramadi, according to a statement by the pollster.

Slightly more than 20 percent of those surveyed said they think things will get worse in Iraq now that former dictator Saddam Hussein has been deposed, with 13.2 percent saying Iraq will be "somewhat worse" in five years and 7.4 percent thinking the country will be "a lot worse."

According to Zogby, the survey also took into consideration the various religious groups dominant in Iraq, including Shiaa and Sunni Muslims, as well as Christians.

The survey was conducted over a 16-day period that ended on Aug. 19, the same day the United Nations offices in Baghdad were hit by a terrorist attack that left about two dozen people dead, including Brazilian diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official working in Iraq.

The survey, which was conducted through interviews in public places, including coffee shops and shopping areas, was commissioned by American Enterprise magazine and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.

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