Washington, DC – IRI conducted a one-day, public opinion survey in Afghanistan during the October 9, 2004 presidential election. David Williams and Associates, a U.S.-based opinion research firm that specializes in international research projects, designed the methodology and oversaw the data collection process. An Afghan research network managed the fieldwork.
Since there were neither extensive nationwide observers on Election Day, nor a parallel vote tally, this Election Day survey was conducted in order to provide confidence in the election process and an eventual check on the outcome. In addition, IRI felt it was important to survey the opinion of ordinary Afghans so that the President-elect will better understand his or her mandate.
More than 450 Afghans (both men and women) took part in the field work. Teams were placed in 177 locations spread across 26 provinces and Pakistan. All data is based on results from 17,110 respondents.
- According to the survey, the leading candidate received a very strong majority of the vote and will be able to claim a powerful mandate from the Afghan people.
- There is a difference of 47 percent between the first and second place candidate.
- The third place candidate had five percent of the vote. Twelve candidates each received one percent or less of the vote.
- Eighty-two percent of respondents said that the election was free and fair. This finding was consistent throughout the day.
- Ninety-seven percent said that any problems in the election did not affect the outcome.
- Fifty percent of respondents said that disarming commanders was the number one priority of the new government. Reconstruction and the development of the economy had 16 percent and 11 percent support respectively. Nine percent listed jobs as their number one priority.
- Eighty-nine percent of the respondents said that their current situation is improving.
- Eighty-four percent said that life has improved since the fall of the Taliban.
- Ninety-two percent said that life will be better in one year.
- Twenty-two percent of the sample are women.
- Interim President Karzai received support from 86 percent of Pashtuns sampled, 40 percent of Tajiks, 16 percent of Uzbeks and 21 percent of Hazaras.
- Qanuni received the support of 5 percent of Pashtuns sampled, 34 percent of Tajiks, nine percent of Uzbeks and five percent of Hazaras.
- Eight percent of all women sampled voted for Jalal.
Uzbeks were least likely to believe the election was free and fair.