Did the Iraq War Have a Body Bag Effect?

Babak Bahador, Scott Walker
2012 American Review of Politics  
<span style="font-size: 100%; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:&quot;Did mounting troop casualties during the Iraq War turn the American public against the conflict? Analyzing public opinion data from over 400 public polls during the first six years of the war, this article attempts to identify whether there was a \u201cbody bag effect\u201d in play. We create a multi-variate model that tests a number of potential hypotheses including cumulative and
more » ... ulative and marginal troop casualty as well as death milestone effects. We find that cumulative casualties provide a better explanation for the decline in public support than marginal casualties during the Iraq War. Contrary to the findings from the Korean and Vietnam Wars, this holds true during both periods of escalation and de-escalation.&quot;}" data-sheets-userformat="{&quot;2&quot;:12544,&quot;11&quot;:0,&quot;15&quot;:&quot;arial,sans,sans-serif&quot;,&quot;16&quot;:10}">Did mounting troop casualties during the Iraq War turn the American public against the conflict? Analyzing public opinion data from over 400 public polls during the first six years of the war, this article attempts to identify whether there was a "body bag effect" in play. We create a multi-variate model that tests a number of potential hypotheses including cumulative and marginal troop casualty as well as death milestone effects. We find that cumulative casualties provide a better explanation for the decline in public support than marginal casualties during the Iraq War. Contrary to the findings from the Korean and Vietnam Wars, this holds true during both periods of escalation and de-escalation.</span>
doi:10.15763/issn.2374-7781.2012.33.0.247-270 fatcat:73bdgmf6ubgdtcox63ycp6lwti