[DEBATE] : Support for Iraq War Has Risen, Poll Shows
critical.montages at gmail.com
Thu Jul 26 01:33:22 BST 2007
Who says the Democrats haven't done anything? They have raised
support for the Iraq War. -- Yoshie
July 24, 2007
Support for Initial Invasion Has Risen, Poll Shows
By MEGAN THEE
Americans' support for the initial invasion of Iraq has risen somewhat
as the White House has continued to ask the public to reserve judgment
about the war until at least the fall. In a New York Times/CBS News
poll conducted over the weekend, 42 percent of Americans said that
looking back, taking military action in Iraq was the right thing to
do, while 51 percent said the United States should have stayed out of
But two-thirds of those polled said the United States should reduce
its forces in Iraq, or remove them altogether. Support for the
invasion had been at an all-time low in May, when only 35 percent of
Americans said the invasion of Iraq was the right thing and 61 percent
said the United States should have stayed out. The latest poll made
clear that a two-thirds majority of Americans continue to say the war
is going badly.
However, the number of people who say the war is going "very badly"
has fallen from 45 percent earlier in July to a current reading of 35
percent, and of those who say it is going well, 29 percent now
describe it as "somewhat well" compared with 23 percent just last
Many of those who said the invasion was correct made it clear,
however, that they are no longer convinced the United States should
"At the time that we went into Iraq, we had just come out of 9/11. The
nation was in shock, frightened," Sally Fisher of Garden City, Mich.,
said in a follow-up interview after the poll was conducted. "Looking
back, I still think we should have gone in. Should we have stayed as
long as we did? No."
The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Friday through Sunday with
889 adults. The margin of sampling error for all adults is plus or
minus three percentage points and larger for subgroups.
The poll's findings are in line with those of one conducted last week
by The New York Times and CBS News. Although both polls show a similar
rise in overall support for the invasion, there was no change in
measures like Mr. Bush's handling of the war or how well the increase
in troops is working, making it difficult to discern what the public
may be reacting to.
At the end of a week that included a contentious Senate debate leading
to an all-night session, Americans have a low opinion of Congress. Six
in 10 Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing in general.
When asked specifically about their opinions of how the Democrats and
Republicans in Congress are handling the war, disapproval ratings are
similar — 65 percent disapprove of the Republicans' handling of Iraq
and 59 percent disapprove of the Democrats'.
"If Congress isn't ready to really go over there with enough force to
change things now we might as well get out," said Shawn Taylor of
Hardin, Mont. "Either push the envelope and make it happen or leave it
The modest gains in support for the invasion of Iraq come at a time
when Bush administration and top military commanders have called
attention to what they say are signs of progress, and have urged
patience pending a report due this fall from the top American
commander in Iraq. The administration has also issued new warnings
about heightened terrorist activity.
A majority of Americans say that in the long run, the United States
will be safer from terrorism if it stays out of the affairs of
countries in the Middle East. But there is a sharp party divide on the
issue — 73 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents and 28
percent of Republicans agree.
Americans are divided over whether the Bush administration's
discussion of terrorism reflects a genuine concern or is a political
tool. Half of those polled say the administration talks about the
threat of terrorism to gain a political advantage; 39 percent say it
is a genuine issue.
News about Iraq has captured Americans' attention recently, with
two-thirds of respondents reporting that they have paid "a lot" or
"some" attention to news about the war in Iraq over the last few
Complete results and methodology are available at nytimes.com/polls.
Marina Stefan contributed reporting.
The New York Times/CBS News Poll, "Percentage of Respondents Who Said
that the United States Did the Right Thing in Taking Military Action
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