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Poll: 68% Oppose Bush’s Troops Surge In Iraq January 21, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Politics, US News.
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NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–President George W. Bush’s call for a “surge” in troops in Iraq is opposed by about two-thirds – 68% – of Americans and supported by only about a quarter (26%), according to a poll conducted by Newsweek and reported on the magazine’s Web site.

Almost half of all respondents (46%) want to see U.S. troops pulled out “as soon as possible,” according to the report, which was posted Saturday.

Nearly half of all respondents to the poll (45%) say they “strongly oppose” the plan, Newsweek reported. Nine in 10 Democrats (92%), 70% of independents and close to a third (31%) of Republicans disapprove, the report said.

Bush’s Iraq plan isn’t doing anything for his personal approval rating either; it’s again stuck at its lowest point in the history of the poll (31%), the report said.

Meanwhile, 55% trust Congressional Democrats on U.S. policy in Iraq, far more than the 32% who trust Bush, the report said.

The president also received his lowest ratings so far for his handling of the war (24%) and terrorism (41%), according to the poll.

Specifically, majorities of respondents expressed doubt that the Iraq troop-surge proposal will reduce violence in Baghdad (53%) or buy enough time for sectarian groups to hammer out a settlement (59%), the report said. In fact, more than two-thirds (67%) think it is either “very” or “somewhat” likely to lead to more U.S. casualties in Iraq without getting the U.S. closer to its goals there, the report said.

Still, almost half (45%) don’t want to see the U.S. beat too hasty a retreat, Newsweek reported. They prefer to maintain troop levels in Iraq for “at least another year or two” to give the Iraqis more time to settle their differences and reach a political settlement, even though only 27% of those polled are “very or somewhat” confident that Iraqis would be able to control the violence and provide their own security, the report said.

Two-thirds (67%) of those interviewed think that the U.S. is losing ground in its efforts to establish security and democracy in Iraq and only 23% favor additional troops at this time, the report said.

ALso, 62% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country, the report said. For the first time, more than half of the respondents (53%) disapprove of his approach to deterring terrorism, the report said. More than half of the public thinks he is not “honest and ethical” (54%) and lacks “strong leadership qualities” (57%), Newsweek reported. Just before the last election, 55% said Bush was honest and 63% saw him as a strong leader, the report said.

Respondents give Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi largely favorable (36% to 23%) ratings and also agree by a nearly two-to-one margin (43% to 24%) that the Democrats are keeping promises they made during their campaigns, the report said. Still, nearly a third (32%) said they “didn’t know” if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion about Pelosi, the report said. And while the public trusts Democrats more than Bush on Iraq policy, the Newsweek poll found a 46%-46% split on whether the Congress should try to block the additional funding Bush needs to pay for more troops in Iraq, the report said.

The Newsweek poll, conducted Wednesday, Jan. 17, through Thursday, Jan. 18, has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, the report said. In conducting the poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates International interviewed 1,003 adults aged 18 and older, the report said.

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