Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Majority now thinks Iraq War was wrong

More -- and more important -- poll numbers (than those in my previous post). From The Wall Street Journal:

A new Harris Interactive poll shows American sentiment about the situation in Iraq remains generally gloomy, with fewer than a quarter of Americans saying they are confident U.S. policies in Iraq will be successful.

For the first time, a majority of Americans (53%) feels that military action in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, according to the survey of 1,833 U.S. adults, compared with 34% who feel it was right.

At the same time, 66% of U.S. adults now say President Bush is doing a "poor" or "only fair" job of handling Iraq, while 32% say he is doing an "excellent" or "pretty good" job. That's little changed from a September Harris poll that found 65% rated Mr. Bush negatively and 34% rated him positively.

Sixty-one percent of Americans say they aren't confident U.S. policies in Iraq will be successful, slightly higher than 59% who lacked confidence in September. Additionally, only 19% of Americans surveyed believe the situation for U.S. troops in Iraq is improving, while 44% believe it is getting worse.

U.S. adults are split on where things are headed in Iraq: 38% believe things there are moving in the right direction, while another 38% believe they're moving in the wrong direction and 24% aren't sure.

These numbers surely speak for themselves, but here's some reaction out there in the blogosphere (from two of my favourites):

Kevin Drum at Political Animal: "I have a feeling that yet another series of 'same 'ol, same 'ol' speeches from the president aren't going to turn this around." As is often the case, I agree with Kevin. The referendum produced a positive result for Iraq, but this is far from over, and I doubt that Americans are prepared to wait that long for success.

Andrew Sullivan: "Americans are mature enough both to grieve for the U.S. and Iraqi casualties while understanding that wars always mean casualties. As to the future, the public is now evenly split on whether things are going in the right or wrong direction. Count me among the 24 percent who don't know for sure. I certainly hope that the political process will work in the end." I do, too. But who knows?

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