Poll: Bush Not Doing Enough For Iraq Vets

GENERIC: Bush, Walter Reed Hospital Poll CBS/AP

After a week of Congressional hearings investigating reports of shoddy treatment of veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, most Americans are critical of the Bush administration's efforts for the wounded soldiers returning from the Iraq War, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds.

Three out of four — 76 percent of — Americans do not think the Bush administration has done enough to care for these veterans. A majority of Republicans agree with all Americans overall on this issue.

Monday, the Army forced its surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, to retire, officials said, making him the third high-level official to lose his job over poor outpatient treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


HAS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DONE ENOUGH FOR IRAQ WAR VETS?

Yes
17 percent
No
76 percent

Fewer Americans are leery of putting more American troops in harm's way by sending additional troops to Iraq. Though 59 percent of Americans still oppose President Bush's recent decision to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, 36 percent now favor that decision — a slight increase from last month and a rise of 7 points since January.

SENDING MORE THAN 20,000 ADDITIONAL TROOPS TO IRAQ

Now
Favor
36 percent
Oppose
59 percent

February 2007
Favor
33 percent
Oppose
63 percent

January 2007
Favor
29 percent
Oppose
66 percent

Instead, most Americans — 56 percent — favor decreasing or removing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. Seventeen percent of Americans think current U.S. troop levels in Iraq should be maintained, while 22 percent think more troops should be added.

Read the complete results of this CBS News/New York Times poll (11 pages)

Assessing The War

As the Iraq War enters its fifth year, optimism about the prospects for a successful resolution is now at its lowest level so far. Only one in 10 Americans believe the United States is very likely to succeed in Iraq. Thirty-four percent of Americans think success is somewhat likely, but more than half — 53 percent — believe the prospect for success in Iraq is not very or not at all likely.

WILL THE U.S. SUCCEED IN IRAQ?

Now
Very Likely
11 percent
Somewhat likely
34 percent
Not very/at all likely
53 percent

February 2007
Very likely
13 percent
Somewhat likely
37 percent
Not very/at all likely
47 percent

March 2006
Very likely
15 percent
Somewhat likely
36 percent
Not very/at all likely
47 percent

There has been a drop even among Republicans when it comes to optimism about the war's outcome. Nineteen percent of Republicans think success in Iraq is very likely — down 10 points from last month. A majority of Republicans continue to believe success in Iraq is at least somewhat likely. Democrats and independents disagree.

Just 29 percent of Americans think the war is going even somewhat well for the United States, though this is up slightly from last month's assessment.

Rather than engage in a military conflict with Iran over Iraq, Americans seem more inclined to look to Iran for help in providing stability to Iraq. A slight majority of Americans — 51 percent — believe the United States should request the support of Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East, such as Iran and Syria, even if the governments in those countries have been unfriendly or hostile to the United States in the past.

SHOULD THE U.S. REQUEST THE SUPPORT OF IRAN AND SYRIA?

Now
Yes
51 percent
No
40 percent

February 2007
Yes
46 percent
No
46 percent

December 2006
Yes
51 percent
No
40 percent

Looking back, most Americans think the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq in the first place. Just 39% of Americans think the U.S. did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, while 56% believe it should have stayed out. Those numbers have been generally consistent for the past year.


President George W. Bush

The President's job approval rating has risen to 34 percent in this poll, its highest level since November 2006.

BUSH'S JOB APPROVAL RATING

Now
Approve
34 percent
Disapprove
58 percent

February 2007
Approve
29 percent
Disapprove
61 percent

The increase is due almost entirely to an uptick in approval among Republicans; 75 percent now approve, up from 65 percent last month.

BUSH'S JOB APPROVAL RATING BY PARTY

Now
Total
34 percent
Republicans
75 percent
Democrats
8 percent
Independents
28 percent

February 2007
Total
29 percent
Republicans
65 percent
Democrats
6 percent
Independents
27 percent



For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,362 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone March 7-11, 2007. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.
  • James Klatell

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