Public Supports Limits On Troop Deployment
If you watch the cable news shows and read the major papers, you might get the impression that the American public is against Democratic efforts to get us out of Iraq. You would be wrong. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that a majority favors putting restrictions upon the deployment of forces to Iraq, and by a 2-1 margin the country is against the surge.
With Congress preparing for renewed debate over President Bush's Iraq war policies, a majority of Americans now support setting a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from the war-torn nation and also support putting new conditions on the military that could limit the number of personnel available for duty there, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
Opposition to Bush's plan to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq remained strong, with two in three Americans registering their disapproval -- 56 percent said they strongly object. The House recently passed a nonbinding resolution opposing the new deployments, but Republicans have successfully blocked consideration of such a measure in the Senate.
The Post-ABC poll found that 53 percent of Americans favored setting a deadline for troop withdrawals. Among those who favored a deadline, 24 percent said they would like to see U.S. forces out within six months and another 21 percent called for the withdrawals to be completed within a year. The rest of those who support a timetable said they did not favor withdrawing all troops until at least a year from now.
This is the first time a Post-ABC News poll has found a majority of Americans supported establishing such a timetable for withdrawal, which has long been resisted by the president and even some Democrats.
There was clear support, however, for the kinds of conditions proposed by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), who wants to establish requirements for the training and resting of military units that would have the effect of limiting the number of troops available to send to Iraq.
Murtha's plan has drawn fire in the House, including from some of his Democratic colleagues, after it was unveiled on a liberal Web site. The Post-ABC News poll, which did not associate the plan with Murtha, found that 58 percent of Americans said they support such new rules. Even some Americans, 21 percent, who supported the president's troop surge said they would favor rules for training and resting troops.
Is the administration supported on the war? Nope.
The latest poll also registered a new low on the question of whether the Iraq war was worth fighting. Just 34 percent responded that the war was worth fighting while 64 percent said it was not -- 51 percent strongly. On this question, 51 percent of military veterans and 53 percent of veteran households said they strongly believe the war was not worth fighting.
Is the administration trusted on Iran? Nope.
At the same time, just 41 percent expressed confidence that the administration will do a good job handling current tensions with Iran, compared with 58 percent who said they were not confident.
Is the administration trusted on the issues? Nope.
By wide margins, Americans said they trust Democrats in Congress more than Bush to deal with Iraq, health care, the budget, the economy and terrorism. The Democrats' advantage on health care was 37 percentage points, on the budget 27 points, on Iraq and the economy 20 points and on terrorism 13 points.
So if you are the Democrats' chief strategist, what do you recommend right now to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?