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Poll: Approval for War Strategy Jumps After Obama's Speech

Public support for the war in Afghanistan jumped nine points in the past three weeks, according to a new Quinnipiac poll, showing an increase of support following President Obama's nationally broadcast address laying out his new war strategy.

Mr. Obama plans to address his Afghanistan strategy in Olso this week, when he accepts his Nobel Peace Prize -- a prize most voters say the president does not deserve, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

Fifty-seven percent of American voters said fighting the war in Afghanistan is the right thing to do, while 35 percent said it is not the right thing to do, according to the poll, conducted Dec. 1 through Dec. 6. By contrast, a Nov. 18 Quinnipiac poll showed only 48 percent of Americans said fighting in Afghanistan is the right thing to do. Mr. Obama delivered his address outlining his new strategy on Dec. 1.

The new poll also shows Americans are now split over their approval of Mr. Obama's handling of the war, with 45 percent approving and 45 percent disapproving. His approval rating for the war has increased seven points from the Nov. 18 poll.

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"President Barack Obama's nationally televised speech explaining his policy and troop buildup has worked, at least in the short term, in bolstering support for the war effort and his decisions," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

Sixty percent of voters said they approve of the president's plan to begin withdrawing troops in July 2011, but 45 percent said they do not believe he will be able to keep that promise.

Meanwhile, 66 percent of voters said Mr. Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, which he will receive on Thursday. In fact, the president said himself he did not feel he deserved it.

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