CBS Poll: Public Backs Iraq Timetable

More than half of Americans support the U.S. House provision setting a timetable that calls for most U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by September, 2008. According to a new CBS News poll, 59% of those surveyed favored the provision while 37% are opposed.

The poll was conducted before Tuesday's Senate vote to include a non-binding withdrawal timetable in its version of legislation to provide continued funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Bush has pledged to veto either version of the legislation, and in a speech Wednesday, reiterated his opposition to a timetable. "The consequences of imposing such a specific and random date of withdrawal would be disastrous," Mr. Bush said in a speech at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association meeting. "Our enemies in Iraq would simply have to mark their calendars. They'd spend the months ahead plotting how to use their new safe haven once we were to leave."

The poll also found that while most Americans believe Iran is providing weapons to insurgents in Iraq, the majority sees that nation as a threat not requiring military action on the part of the U.S. While 65% believe Iraq is aiding insurgents, 54% believe containment is the best policy while just 18% said it requires military action.

On the domestic front, the CBS News poll finds that just half of Americans are following the news about the firing of several U.S. Attorneys but 40% say Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign, while 25% say he should not and 35% are not sure. Among those who say they are following the story closely, 55% think Gonzales should resign.


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 831 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone March 26-27, 2007. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. An oversample of registered voters who plan to vote in a Democratic primary next year was also conducted for this poll, for a total of 539 interviews among this group.

The subsample of all Democratic primary voters was weighted to the proportion of these voters across three previous 2007 CBS News and CBS News/New York Times Polls. The margin of error for Democratic primary voters is plus or minus four percentage points.


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  • Vaughn Ververs

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