McCain's negative ratings have risen this year, and a sizeable number of Americans believe he's painted too rosy a picture of the situation in Iraq.
The poll was conducted before the GOP presidential hopeful made what his campaign called a Wednesday at the Virginia Military Institute.
Thirty-nine percent of those polled said McCain's descriptions of U.S. progress in Iraq make things sound like they're going better than they actually are. That's compared with 29 percent who believe McCain, who recently returned from a trip to the war-torn country, is describing the situation in Iraq accurately.
WHEN MCCAIN TALKS ABOUT IRAQ, HE MAKES THINGS SOUND…
Better than they really are
Worse than they really are
Describing things accurately
Don't know/No answer
McCain's strong support for the war could have political consequences for him: registered voters' views of McCain have grown more negative this year. Today more voters view him unfavorably than favorably, by 31 to 26 percent. Despite his presidential campaign, however, McCain remains unknown to, or elicits no opinion from 42 percent of voters.
OPINION OF JOHN MCCAIN
The poll also found that two-thirds of Americans continue to believe things are going badly in Iraq, about the same number as a month ago but more negative than one year ago.
A majority, 54 percent, is also not optimistic that the U.S. can succeed in Iraq.
For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys,
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 480 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone April 9-10, 2007. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus five percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.