As President Bush and Congress hammer out an Iraq war funding bill, a CBS News/New York Times poll shows the number of Americans who say the war is going badly has reached a new high, rising 10 percent this month to 76 percent.
Nearly half of all Americans (47 percent) say the war is going very badly, while just 20 percent say the recent U.S. troop increase is making a positive difference.
Even a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, now say the war is going at least somewhat badly – a 16-point increase from the middle of April. Nine in 10 Democrats and eight in 10 Independents agree.
HOW IS THE WAR GOING?
Although Congress has backed down from attaching a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal to the war funding bill, six in 10 Americans would like one. The public also favors setting benchmarks the Iraqi government must meet as a condition for future funding of the war – something that Congress will include in the pending legislation.
The poll also finds a record number of Americans say getting involved in Iraq in the first place was a mistake. Only 35 percent say the U.S. did the right thing by invading Iraq, while 61 percent say the U.S. should have stayed out.
DID U.S. DO THE RIGHT THING GOING TO WAR WITH IRAQ?
Should have stayed out
In addition, the poll finds Americans are more pessimistic than ever about the overall direction in which the United States is headed. Seventy-two percent, the highest number since the CBS/NYT poll started asking the question in 1983, say the country is on the wrong track, while 24 percent say it's headed in the right direction.
DIRECTION OF THE COUNTRY
President Bush's job approval rating in the poll is now at 30 percent, two points above its January low. Sixty-three percent of Americans disapprove of the president's job performance.
Congress fares only a little better, with an approval rating of 36 percent, and disapproval of 52 percent.
BUSH'S JOB APPROVAL RATING
APPROVAL OF CONGRESS
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,125 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone May 18-23, 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. An oversample of African Americans was also conducted for this poll, for a total of 192 interviews among this group. The results were then weighted in proportion to the racial composition of the adult population in the U.S. Census. The margin of error for African Americans is plus or minus 7 percentage points.