Polling in Iraq: Planning, Luck and Tragic Stories

One of the more poignant interviewer entries -- emblematic of the struggles, conflict and ultimate tragedy of today's Iraq -- came from Mosul:

"When I went to this specific region for the survey I have noticed that there was a mourning ceremony, and I think that it was the last day for it. It was by coincidence that my work took me to this house."

"When I asked to do the questionnaire with one member of the family, they asked me about the reasons behind my visit and selection for their house. I told them that their house was selected according to the random rules of the survey and I told them that we have a project about the opinions of citizens concerning the general situations in the country."

"The process of the interview was very difficult with them, and I learned that their son had been an officer in the former Iraqi army and that he was killed by an armed militia. They don't know the reasons behind killing him, and they said that this is the destiny of former army officers because they receive threats and are killed."

Remarkably, even in mourning, the respondent in this family participated in the survey, along with 2,211 other randomly selected Iraqis. They wanted their stories told.


Sidebar: Methods Report

The following excerpt from D3/KARL's "Methods Report" summarizes the conditions encountered by the survey interviewers, nationally and in each of Iraq's 18 provinces:

National Level:

A major U.S./Iraqi forces joint security operation in Baghdad.

Major terrorist attacks, assaults, assassinations, kidnappings, curfew, dead bodies found all across Iraq; and the continuing violence in all parts of Iraq (especially in Baghdad and mixed ethnic/religious provinces).

Province Level:

Basra: Intense fighting, suicide bombs.

Muthanna: Some fighting, suicide bombs.

Najaf: Intense fighting.

Anbar: Intense fighting, suicide bombs.

Dhi Qar: No major events.

Maysan: Some fighting.

Qaidisiyah: Intense fighting.

Wasit: Some fighting.

Babil: No major events.

Karbala: No major events.

Baghdad: Intense fighting, suicide bombs, major U.S. military operations, assaults on civilians, assaults on security forces.

Diyala: Intense fighting, suicide bombs, assaults on civilians, assaults on security forces, U.S. military operations.

Salahuddin: Suicide bombs.

Sulaimaniyah: No major events.

Tamim: Some fighting, suicide bombs.

Ninevah: Intense fighting, suicide bombs, assaults on U.S. forces, assassination attempts on politicians.

Irbil: No major events.

Dahuk: No major events.

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