CBSN

Poll: Support For War Stays Strong

Spot the American products advertised at this Berlin intersection near Checkpoint Charlie.
CBS / Christine Lagorio
As the war in Afghanistan continues, so does public support for it. 87% of Americans support the military attacks on Afghanistan - a number that has not wavered since the start of the attacks in October. And with the recent capture and transport of 80 Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners to the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, nearly all feel the war is going well for the United States.

Nine in 10 Americans now say the war is going well for the United States; only 8% feel the war is going badly. However, the number who say the war is going very well has dropped somewhat. Currently, 40% say the war is going very well compared to 51% who felt this way in early December, just weeks after the fall of Kabul.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
HOW'S THE WAR GOING FOR THE U.S.?

 Very wellSomewhat wellSomewhat/very badly
Now

40%

49%

8%


 Very wellSomewhat wellSomewhat/very badly
1/7/02

43%

49%

6%


 Very wellSomewhat wellSomewhat/very badly
12/01

51%

42%

5%

CBSNEWS Polls

OSAMA BIN LADEN

Despite strong public support for the war, most Americans do not think the United States can claim victory in Afghanistan unless Osama bin Laden, the man believed to have planned the September 11th attacks, is captured or killed. Now, 56% of Americans feel the war in Afghanistan will NOT be won unless bin Laden is captured, while 29% feel the war can be considered won regardless of whether Osama bin Laden is caught or not.

There are gender differences on this question. More women (61%) than men (51%) believe it is necessary for bin Laden to be captured in order for the U.S. to claim victory in Afghanistan. Also, Democrats more than Republicans feel the capture of bin Laden is crucial. Two-thirds of Democrats think if bin Laden is not captured or killed, the war will not have been won, compared to 48% of Republicans who feel the same way.

With the goal of capturing bin Laden in the forefront of Americans' minds, the public remains confident that he will be found. Seven in ten are very or somewhat confident that bin Laden will be captured or killed, while only 27% are not confident of his capture.


This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 1,030 adults, interviewed by telephone January 15-17, 2002. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points.

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

© MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved