Matt Stoller takes a trip down memory lane to explain why Hillary Clinton can be so popular without apologizing for her vote to authorize the Iraq War:
There are a good number of Democrats that straight up opposed the invasion, but many of us were what I’ll call ‘antiwar but’. In March, right before the invasion, a CBS/NYT poll asked whether the US should take military action against Hussein even if the UN voted against it. 42% said yes, 55% said no. An antiwar majority, sure, but hardly overwhelming. In February, according to a Time/CNN poll, Democrats opposed the invasion by a 42% to 50% margin. Once again, an antiwar majority but not overwhelming. In early February, an LA Times poll found a 42% to 50% margin among Democrats. I’m struck by how the Democratic base had around 30% composition at that time that trusted Bush’s instincts. So while being antiwar made you slightly more popular within the Democratic Party at the time, both antiwar and prowar positions were mainstream Democratic positions.
Interesting stuff. Similarly, I recall that just after the war — late march and April 2003 — the war polled well enough that it was pretty popular among Democrats.