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Polls Show Most Say Things Are Going Well in Iraq

With the U.S. military now having pulled its combat forces out of Iraqi cities, a CBS News/New York Times Poll conducted June 12th-16th, finds that most Americans - 62% - say things are going at least somewhat well for the United States in Iraq, twice as many as who say things are going badly. Even though these positive views are down nine points from April, a majority of Americans have characterized the war as going well for the U.S. over the past several months.
 How Are Things Going For The U.S. In Iraq?
6/2009 4/2009 3/2009 12/2008 9/2008
Well 62% 71% 64% 56% 52%
Badly 31 24 33 39 46

After years of negative perceptions of the war in Iraq Americans began feeling more positive about the situation there last fall. In September 2008, 52% said things were going well – the first time a majority said so since February 2005 (53%), shortly after Iraqi elections were held.

The public gave the war in Iraq its most positive marks in May 2003, shortly after then-President George W. Bush announced major combat operations in Iraq were over. Back then, 72% of Americans thought things were going well in Iraq.

Assessments of the Iraq war reached their lowest point in June 2007, when only 22% said things in that country were going somewhat well.

 How Are Things Going For The U.S. In Iraq?
Low High
6/2007 5/2003
Well 22% 72%
Badly 77 24

In that recent CBS News/New York Times Poll, majorities of both Republican and Democrats think the efforts to bring stability and order to Iraq are going at least somewhat well for the U.S.

 Views Of Iraq By Party ID
All Rep Dem Ind
Well 62% 71% 63% 54%
Badly 31 24 28 38

Public perceptions are much grimmer when it comes to the war in Afghanistan. 55% of Americans say things are going badly for the U.S. in that country, while just three in 10 think things are going well. Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats have negative assessments of the how the war is going in Afghanistan.

 How Are Things Going For The U.S. In Afghanistan?
6/2009 4/2009 3/2009 12/2008 9/2008
Well 30% 38% 33% 27% 31%
Badly 55 53 57 62 55


Jennifer De Pinto is manager of election and survey information for CBS News. Poll Positions is weekly Hotsheet feature on polling trends from the CBS News Survey and Polling Unit.Click here for more posts from this series.
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