US opposition to Iraq war hits high
Public opposition to the Iraq war has reached record highs in the US, despite congress approval of continued funding, a new poll reveals.
The New York Times/CBS News poll, the latest in a series of recent surveys that have shown an unexpectedly sharp drop in support both for Bush and the war, came as the US Congress voted to fund the war through September 2007, Antiwar news website reported on Friday.
According to the survey, which was conducted May 18-23, more than three out of four citizens (76 percent) now believe the Iraq war is going badly, up from 66 percent just a month ago.
A record 47 percent of respondents said the war was going "very badly."
Perhaps even more important, a majority of 52 percent of Republicans say the war is going at least "somewhat" badly - a whopping 16 percent increase from mid-April and a strong indication that pressure on Republican lawmakers, who have remained remarkably loyal to the White House in a series of Iraq-related votes this spring, to abandon the president is increasing.
"It's the Republican numbers that you have to watch, given the way the White House has governed," said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Program on International Public Attitudes (PIPA).
Particularly alarming to the White House in the latest poll, as in several others conducted over the past several weeks, is the apparent lack of confidence in the Bush's much-vaunted "surge" strategy.
Only 20 percent of respondents said the surge, which is designed mainly to tamp down violence in Baghdad, was improving the situation in Iraq. Three in four respondents, including a majority of Republicans, said the additional deployments, which are expected to be completed by mid-June, was either having no impact or was making things worse there.
The new survey also found that 61 percent of Americans now believe that invading Iraq was a mistake, as opposed to only 35 percent who believe that it was the right thing to do. The 26-percent spread was the widest found in any major national polling on that question.
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