War Support Down, Even Among Republicans
CNN political analyst Bill Schneider reports on a new CNN-Opinion Research poll showing that, “Public support for the war in Iraq has fallen to a new low. Not only that, but Republican support is beginning to waver.”
In the latest CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 69 percent of those polled believe things are going badly in Iraq. Seventeen percent think the situation is improving.
Thirty percent of Americans polled say they favor the war, the lowest level of support on record. Two-thirds are opposed.
Anti-war sentiment among Republican poll respondents has suddenly increased with 38 percent of Republicans now saying they oppose the war.
Moreover, 63 percent of Americans are ready to withdraw at least some troops from Iraq. Forty-two percent of Republicans agree.
Fifty-four percent of Americans do not believe U.S. action in Iraq is morally justified.
Dire findings, indeed, although not particularly surprising. We’ve had four years plus of almost steady bad news, over 4000 Americans killed, and little to indicate that we’re about to turn the corner.
Oddly, though, none of the graphics CNN provides gives us much to go on; nor are any party breakdowns given beyond the story text. The poll results document [PDF] they provide is rather unhelpful in assessing the findings.
This, though, is interesting:
Click for larger image
The trend is steadily toward withdrawal, with 63% wanting to get some or all troops out compared to only 33% wanting to stay the course or increase troop levels. Indeed, slightly more people want to withdraw all troops than to stay.
What’s interesting, though, is that, with the exception of a couple periods of euphoria following major events (the toppling of Saddam’s regime, the holding of elections) there has always been a fairly large contingent in that camp. The first poll in their trendline, taken in August 2003, had 46% in the withdraw some/all column. There was a bare majority for that position in June 2004, shortly before President Bush’s reelection, although that dropped considerably right before the election.
It’s also noteworthy that, despite all the people who say that the problem is that we didn’t send enough troops to Iraq to get the job done, the peak of support for that position was only 33% (April 2004). At that moment in time, 37% wanted to withdraw.