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Bush 'more to blame'
for war than Saddam

President Bush

A new poll asking who is more responsible for starting the war in Iraq finds more Americans now blame President Bush than Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Forty-nine percent say Bush is more responsible for provoking the conflict, according to Rasmussen Reports, while the survey reveals 44 percent take the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the responsibility.

In late 2002, months before the fighting began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the war. Just one-in-four thought the president was doing the provoking at that time.

The biggest change in perceptions has come among Democrats.

Three years ago, Democrats were divided on this point. By a 49-34 percent margin, liberal Democrats at the time said Bush bore most of the responsibility. Conservative Democrats placed the blame on Hussein by a 54-30 percent margin.

Now, however, 78 percent of all Democrats say Bush is more responsible for starting the war than Hussein. Just 18 percent take the opposite view.

Republicans, by a 76-17 percent margin, say Hussein is responsible.

Among those not affiliated with either major party, 52 percent name Bush and 34 percent Hussein.

The survey questioned 1,000 likely voters June 20-21, and the margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points.

Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents were Republican, 37 percent Democrat, and 26 percent unaffiliated.