Only about four in 10 said they expect the general to give an accurate accounting of the situation in Iraq. A majority, 53 percent, said they think his report will try to make the situation in Iraq look better than it really is.While there was an increase in those that think the situation has improved, most don't think it is enough to matter:
Only about a third believed the United States is making significant progress toward restoring civil order in Iraq, most said the buildup has not made much difference, and a majority said they do not expect the troop increase to improve the security situation over the next few months. Just one-third were confident the Iraqi government can meet its political and security goals.Furthermore, an unchanged majority from previous polls, 55 percent, support legislation that would set a deadline of next spring for the withdrawal of American combat forces. Overall, a new high of fifty-eight percent said they want to decrease the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.
Most Democrats and independents also continue to believe Iraq is not important to the larger "war on terror" and has not contributed to U.S. security. The public trusts Democrats over Republicans to handle Iraq by an 11-point margin, but this is down from their highs in previous polls, likely because of their thus far failed attempts to force change in President Bush's war policy.
Beyond current policy, the war has clear implications for the 2008 presidential race. More than a third identified Iraq as the campaign's single most important issue. The war received nearly three times as many mentions as the next most frequently cited issue, health care, at 13 percent. Nearly half of Democrats called Iraq the single most important issue, as did a third of independents and 28 percent of Republicans.Looks like Republicans of all kinds would rather this issue just go away.
In the latest AP poll, "59 percent said they believe history will judge the Iraq war as a failure, including 28 percent who said it would be viewed as a complete failure. Asked if the U.S. made a mistake going to war in Iraq in 2003, 57 percent said yes, about the same number who said so in April."
According to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, "a record 60% say the United States should set a timetable to withdraw forces 'and stick to that timetable regardless of what is going on in Iraq.'" Asked about the testimony to be delivered by General Petraeus today, "53% of those surveyed say the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq will deliver 'a biased report that reflects what the Bush administration wants the public to believe.'"
The American people are firmly on the Democrats' side on this. Will they use the popular support they have to end the war?