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Officials Fear Chaos if Iraqis Vote Down the Constitution

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In regions dominated by Sunni Arabs, opinion polls have shown sentiment running just about two to one against it. But no matter how the vote goes, several officials said, the violence in Iraq is likely to increase significantly. That prediction stands in contrast to the upbeat previous assessments from Bush and others before other major turning points in Iraq, like the transition to Iraqi sovereignty in 2004 or the national elections early this year. The administration argued that insurgents would be demoralized by the success of democracy and that violence would decline.

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