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Voters Support War in Afghanistan, Fault Obama on Economy, Poll Shows

U.S. soldiers in southeastern Afghanistan
U.S. soldiers in southeastern Afghanistan. AP

A majority of Americans continue to support the war in Afghanistan and believe the threat of defeating terrorism there is worth fighting - and possibly dying - for, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University.

The poll, conducted from August 31 - September 7, indicates that despite increased casualties, Americans approve of President Obama's military actions in Afghanistan and do not perceive the conflict as "another Vietnam" - although 55 percent of those polled believe the United States will be unsuccessful in its efforts to eliminate terrorist threats there, and 65 percent support the proposed withdrawal of troops next July.

The majority of Americans believe that the president has served the country well in his capacity as military commander. The poll found that 53 percent approve of his performance as commander-in-chief, and 59 percent believe he has strong leadership qualities.

On fiscal issues, however, the president's approval ratings remain low. Consistent with numbers from July, 56 percent of Americans said they disapproved of his handling of the economy. Overall, the president's job approval ratings remain steady, with 47 percent disapproving of his job performance and 44 percent approving. The findings are similar to the Quinnipiac University poll from July 21, which put his job approval rating at an all-time low of 44, compared with 48 percent disapproval.

Meanwhile, support for the Tea Party has dipped slightly: 12 percent of voters said they considered themselves members of the grassroots movement, down from 15 percent in April. Thirty percent approved of the movement in general, down from 33 percent in July. Public opinion of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin also fell, with 31 percent approving of her and 50 disapproving, down from 35 percent to 49 percent in July.

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