ABC's Where Things Stand is an update of the November 2005 nationwide opinion poll that it conducted, along with the BBC and USA Today, in Iraq. More than 2,000 Iraqis were questioned at 450-or-so sampling points by about 100 interviewers. Only 42% said life is better now than it was four years ago under the dictator Saddam Hussein and only 26% said they feel safe in their own neighborhood. The survey listed 13 basic needs of daily life--electricity, potable water, healthcare and so on--and for each category a majority called the situation "quite bad" or "very bad."
ABC was clearly proud at having pulled off the survey: "Conducting the poll was terribly difficult given the security situation," anchor Charles Gibson asserted. He had polling director Gary Langer explain the methodology: how the interviewers were recruited and deployed; the high interviewee response rate; the precise random sampling procedure used to select respondents, down to which door to knock on and which household member to ask for. Terry McCarthy (at the tail of the Gibson videostream) described the logistics of getting around the country: road travel within ten miles of Baghdad is impossible for fear of kidnapping; domestic airline travel and the roads are easy in Kurdistan; the south requires British military escort.
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