Americans overwhelmingly oppose sending more U.S. forces to Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll that serves as a strong repudiation of President Bush’s plan to send another 21,500 troops.
The opposition to boosting troop levels in Iraq reflects growing skepticism that the United States made the right decision in going to war in the first place and that a stable, democratic government can be established there. Just 35 percent think it was right for the United States to go to war, a new low in AP polling and a reversal from two years ago, when two-thirds of Americans thought it was the correct move.
Sixty percent, meanwhile, think it is unlikely that a stable, democratic Iraqi government will be established.
Fully 70 percent of Americans oppose sending more troops, and a like number don’t think such an increase would help stabilize the situation there. The telephone survey of 1,002 adults was conducted Monday through Wednesday night, when the president made his speech calling for an increase in troops. News had already surfaced before the polling period that Bush wanted to boost U.S. forces in Iraq.
Democrats are far more inclined to oppose an increase of troops, with 87 percent against the idea, compared to 42 percent of Republicans. Overall, 52 percent of Republicans support an increase in troops, although some key GOP constituencies are opposed. For example, 60 percent of white evangelical Christians oppose the idea and 56 percent of self-described conservatives are opposed.
In other words: it’s almost a mirror image of the election results. Bush has held onto some of his base but he has few Democrats. Other polls show most independent voters now agree with the Democrats. Seldom has the United States had a war that lacked such broad political support. This means — more than ever — that the GOP will pay severe political consequences if the war continues to worsen and the “surge” doesn’t lead to an improvement or the appearance of a so-far-nonexistent light at the end of the tunnel.
See our earlier ANALYSIS ROUNDUP HERE.
Rather than add to that long post, we URGE you to ALSO READ:
Our cobblogger Shaun Mullen’s MUST-READ and HIGHLY-COMPELLING post on his own blog HERE (wrong link now FIXED) Even people who don’t agree with Shaun will find lots of food for serious thought.
Kitchen Table Politics
Middle Earth Journal
Drifting Through The Drift
Tim at Balloon Juice
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.