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Posted by on May 9, 2007 in Politics, War | 3 comments

Polls: Most Support Congress In Bush Iraq War Funding Battle But Congress Unloved

There’s good news and the bad news for the Democratic-controlled Congress.

The good news: a new poll shows most Americans back the Congress in its efforts to pass an Iraq war funding bill with some kind of withdrawal timetable — the kind of timetable the Bush administration doesn’t like.

The bad news: the Congress’ approval rating is about as illustrious as President George Bush’s. And polling indicates polarization will be with us for a while…

From CNN:

In the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 57 percent want Congress to pass another bill with funding and timetables.

The poll surveyed 1,028 American adults between Friday and Sunday. It has a sampling error of 3 percentage points.

Another proposal is to replace timetables with benchmarks that the Iraqi government must meet to show progress toward a political resolution.

“If they can’t even get a formula for distributing the oil, if they can’t even begin to take over ‘Iraqization,’ how much longer are we supposed to stay there with these goals?” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said Sunday in an interview with CNN.

A bill with benchmarks instead of a timetable gets slightly more public support, 61 percent.

The reason the public supports a timetable for withdrawal may be because the four-year-old war remains unpopular, with nearly two-thirds of the public opposed. Of those polled, 34 percent said they support the war, while 65 percent expressed opposition.

But while previous surveys show Americans are pessimistic about the outcome of the war, a majority of 55 percent said they were not yet willing to declare it “lost.” The prevailing view, held by 63 percent of Americans polled in April, is that neither side is winning.

Fifty-four percent said they don’t believe the Bush administration’s assertion that the war is the “central front” in the war on terrorist groups that was launched after al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Forty-three percent said they agreed.

That should sound the political alarm to both administration members and GOPers who are in tough races in 2008: a large part of the American public is not buying a prime rationale for continued support of the war.

Meanwhile, NPR offers a poll that should sound some other political alarms:

As the Democratic Congress and the Republican president struggle to come to some kind of compromise on Iraq and other issues, the political environment outside the Beltway continues to be as polarized as ever.

The latest survey by NPR’s bipartisan polling team shows that the two parties’ base voters — the ones most likely to vote in primaries — are so far apart that it may be much harder for their representatives in Washington, D.C., to come together.

Overall, the political landscape continues to tilt against the Republicans. The NPR survey found President Bush’s approval rating remains low: 59 percent disapprove of his performance; only 37 percent approve. Since January, most national polls have found the president’s approval rating consistently below 40 percent.

But the Democrats should not be giving themselves high-fives:

Approval ratings for the new Democratic Congress aren’t any better than they are for the president: 59 percent of respondents disapproved of Congress, while 35 percent approved.

The meaning: the Republicans have been suspended and the Democrats remain on probation.

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