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Could Ahmadinejad actually have won? Read the disputed poll

The Center for Public Opinion, a nonprofit institute that researches attitudes toward extremism, and the New America Foundation conducted a poll in Iran May 11-20, interviewing 1,001 people. They found Ahmadinejad with a large lead over his rivals.

They defended their work today in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post. You can read it here

Here're the opening paragraphs of their study:

In a new public opinion poll across Iran before the critical upcoming June 12, 2009 Presidential elections, a plurality of Iranians said they would vote for incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranians also continue overwhelmingly to fave better relations with the United States and would like to directlyt elect their Supreme Leader in a free vote. The desire for improved American relations and a more open and democratic syustem in Iran have been consistent findings in all our surveys of Iran over the past two years.

These are among the many results of a new nationwide public opinion survey of Iran conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow: The Center for Public Opinion ("TFT"), the New America Foundation, and KA Europe SPRL ("KA").

You can read the full report here.

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