Poll: Fading Support For Iraq War

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Public support for U.S. involvement in Iraq continues to fall. By two to one, Americans reject financing the war through an increased federal deficit, and 62% would finance paying for the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast by cutting spending in Iraq.

More than half of Americans think Iraq is not secure enough to hold its constitutional referendum in just under a week, and many doubt that country will ever become a stable democracy.


U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ

Public opinion is now fairly solidly against the war in Iraq. More than half of Americans – 55% - think the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq (the highest figure to date), while 41% think taking military action there was the right thing to do. As the war began, Americans overwhelmingly approved of U.S. action against Iraq; 69% said the U.S. did the right thing in taking military action (the highest level of support in our polls for the war). Support for the war waned in 2004.

DID U.S. DO THE RIGHT THING GOING TO WAR WITH IRAQ?

Now
Right thing
41%
Should have stayed out
55%

Feb. 2005
Right thing
46%
Should have stayed out
50%

Sept. 2004
Right thing
54%
Should have stayed out
39%

July 2004
Right thing
45%
Should have stayed out
47%

March 2004
Right thing
58%
Should have stayed out
37%

Dec. 2003
Right thing
63%
Should have stayed out
31%

March 2003
Right thing
69%
Should have stayed out
25%

In addition, almost two thirds of Americans think the result of the war with Iraq wasn't worth the loss of American life and other costs; 32% think it was.

IS RESULT OF WAR IN IRAQ WORTH ITS COSTS?
Now
Yes
32%
No
64%

7/2005
Yes
34%
No
59%

5/2004
Yes
29%
No
64%

12/2003
Yes
42%
No
47%

9/2003
Yes
41%
No
53%

In previous polls, adding Saddam Hussein's name to the question has caused opinion toward the war to become more favorable. That isn't the case in this poll. Now, the percentage that says removing Saddam Hussein from power was worth the costs has fallen to 34% -- nearly the same percentage that says the result of the war was worth the cost.

Most Americans also would like to see U.S. troops out of Iraq as soon as possible. Now, 59% want U.S. troops to leave, up from 52% last month and 40% earlier this year. Only 36% think troops should stay in Iraq as long as it takes for that country to become stable.

U.S. TROOPS IN IRAQ SHOULD…
Now
Stay as long as it takes
36%
Leave as soon as possible
59%

9/2005
Stay as long as it takes
42%
Leave as soon as possible
52%

2/2005
Stay as long as it takes
55%
Leave as soon as possible
40%

6/2004
Stay as long as it takes
54%
Leave as soon as possible
40%

Democrats and Republicans find themselves on different sides of the issue. 61% of Republicans want the U.S. to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes, while 73% of Democrats want U.S. troops out as soon as possible. 62% of Independents also want U.S. troops to leave. It is noteworthy, however, that 36% of Republicans, and 45% of conservatives, would like to see U.S. troops out of Iraq.
  • Joel Roberts

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