June 27th, 2007
09:15 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Support for Iraq war reaches new low

U.S soldiers search a house during a patrol in southern Baghdad.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new low of 30 percent of Americans say they support the U.S. war in Iraq and, for the first time, most Americans say they don't believe it is morally justified, a poll released Tuesday said.

In the poll, which was carried out Friday through Sunday, 30 percent of respondents said they favor the war in Iraq; 41 percent said they oppose it because they think the 2003 decision to go to war was a mistake; 26 percent said they oppose it because they think it has been mismanaged; and 3 percent said they had no opinion. (Full Poll Results [PDF])

Support is down 4 points from what it was May 4-6, when 34 percent of respondents said they favored the U.S. war in Iraq.

Asked during the latest poll how things are going for the United States in Iraq, more than two-thirds (69 percent) said badly - 4 percent said "very well," 26 percent said "moderately well," 25 percent said "moderately badly" and 44 percent said "very badly."

There appears to be little optimism that things will improve, with 17 percent saying the situation is getting better; 46 percent saying it is getting worse; 35 percent saying it is staying the same; and 1 percent offering no opinion.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled want withdrawal of U.S. troops to begin - either in part or in total. Asked what the United States should do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, just 17 percent said it should send more troops; 16 percent said keep the numbers the same; 24 percent said withdraw some troops; and 39 percent said withdraw all troops.

Asked whether the U.S. action in Iraq is morally justified, 54 percent said no, versus 42 percent who said yes and 4 percent with no opinion. Just two weeks ago, a poll found less than half (47 percent) saying the war was morally unjustified.

Support for President Bush matched his lowest rank ever in a CNN poll, with 32 percent saying they approve the way he is handling his job, and 66 percent saying they disapprove, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

That's a drop of 6 points from the 38 percent of respondents who said on May 4-6 that they approved of Bush's handling of his job, and equal to the 32 percent he got in a poll conducted in April 2006.

Bush's popularity peaked the week after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when 90 percent of respondents said they approved of the job he was doing.

Americans were split on whether to shut the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo, with 46 percent saying it should continue to operate; 45 percent saying it should be closed and the prisoners transferred elsewhere; and 9 percent offering no opinion.

The telephone poll of 1,029 adult Americans has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 points.

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soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Fabio Escobar, Amherst NY

    This is my favorite part of this story:

    "Asked whether the U.S. action in Iraq is morally justified, 54 percent said no, versus 42 percent who said yes and 4 percent with no opinion. Just two weeks ago, a poll found less than half (47 percent) saying the war was morally unjustified."

    So, seven percent of respondents changed their mind about the morality of this war in the span of two weeks. How could this happen? How do you change your mind about the morality of a war in two weeks when nothing substantive has changed in that period of time? What has happened in Baghdad or Iraq in that period of time? Has the violence worsened? No. Has it improved? No. The U.S. did mount an offensive operation in that period of time, netting quite a few insurgent/Al Qaeda deaths. Perhaps that's why the additional 7% think the war immoral now.

    Polls are idiotic high school popularity contests elevated by short-sighted journalistic apparatchiks who are too uncreative to find real news to cover. They are used by partisan hacks, who cherry-pick poll results, massage question phrasing, and spin the outcomes to suit their political needs. There could not be anything more loathsome or less honorable than the politics of polling.

    June 26, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. Fred Wolters, Guerneville, CA

    And just watch the numbers as more and more people realize the role Bush/Cheney played in 9/11. You ain't seen nothin' yet!

    June 26, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Wendell -- Aztec, NM

    We lost this war by beginning it. It was based on lies and driven by arrogance.

    June 26, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Patrick, Cincinnati, OH

    "Without our troops we have no freedom"

    Really? Most of our troops are over there.. I still feel free. Of course my state here just said you can't have a propane grill near combustible construction in a multi-unit dwelling (condo) so I am feeling like a revolutionary right now (you can take my grill when you pry it from my cold dead hands). Be that as it may... the original revolutionary "troops" were not really soldiers... just ordinary citizens so even without our troops we are free.

    ...and if they do come here... it just makes them easier to catch now doesn't it? Especially if this administration could actually come up with some semblance of border control.

    ... but with GWB in charge.. I ain't expecting anything. He's mastered... low expectations.

    June 26, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Who's the 3% with no opinion?! Are these people THAT apathetic? Are they living under a rock? Or do they just care more about Paris Hilton and who won American Idol? As for the people who blindly support the war, I honestly feel sorry for your obvious narrow view of the world and the consequences of irrational actions.
    And they hate us, why???

    June 26, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. K. Lehmann, New Milford, NJ

    Dear CNN,
    What a great way to support our troops!

    June 26, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Andrew Rodom NY, NY

    Why is it that supporters of the war are from locations least likely to be attacked by terrosrists, while the populations of major city centers don't?
    I am NOT saying people from big cities are better or smarter or anything like that, but I think it's important for supoprters of the war to ask themselves why is it that the people objectively more at risk from terrorism would not support the war? Do such war-supporters believe the at-risk Americans are just stupid people who don't know what's good for them? or that they would sacrifice their, and their families' safety because of liberal leanings? Personally, I think at-risk Americans know what they are talking about, more so than people who are not at risk and who therefore can afford to adopt less-pragmatic, more jingoisitic reasons for supporting the war.

    June 26, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. EC, Little Rock, AR

    I never really understand why it is that we try to keep reliving the debate of 2003. Should we go into Iraq? Are we justified? The reality is that we are in Iraq and the country is very broken. So the real question to ask is if we are morally justified in bailing out at this point. Are we as a country willing to let Iraq go the way it would go without us there. We have plenty of blood on our hands as it is, but I have little doubt that the body count if we leave now would put the current numbers to shame. The sad reality is that because it is not our own blood, we'd be quite willing to leave them to kill each other.

    Now a number of people have stated that the troop "surge" has been ineffective so far. The reality is that though the surge was publicized in January, all of those troops have not actually arrived to Iraq until this month. Is it any coincidence that this push in Baqubah has only begun now? The clock to test our progress should only start now. I think we've let our impatience undermine our progress before and we are in danger of doing it again.

    June 26, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. K Lehmann, New Milford, NJ

    Dear CNN,
    Why did you edit my original comment, "what a great way to support our troops?" You convienently forgot to add my display of "heavy sarcasm."

    For those of you that object to this war and DO NOT have family in the military... How has your lives changed as a result of the war? What exactly is your sacrifice? Has anyone asked you to melt down your cars for scrap metal, like they did in WW II? Seriously, what is the impact on your lives? And don't tell me it is the cost. Even at 8 billion per month, there are 300 million citizens... do the math. Heck, perhaps if Kennedy's immigration bill passes, an additional 20 million people will even lessen that burden.

    June 26, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  10. Charlie -- Austin, Texas

    I would like to see some poll data regarding what percentage of Americans believe it's wise to lead the country based on the outcome of polling data. I suspect not very many.......

    June 26, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Pull U.S. troops out. The surge will not work. Wasn't anybody listening when the U.S. announced a surge the United Nations gave an actual count of how many Iraqi civilians had already been killed. I think that put our military on notice resulting in higher U.S. Military death toll.

    June 26, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. Jeff, Ft Lewis, WA

    I've noticed that several people have either spoken for the troops or have wondered what they think, so I'll tell you; though those of you invoking the opinion may be disappointed.

    Military members are not raised in a vacuum or otherwise distanced and cut off from normal society. We were born and raised in the same environments everyone else was, and our opinions are equally broad. What I suspect would be found, should a respectable polling agency conduct an anonymous survey of the military, would mirror the poll in question here.

    Disappointment and discontent are growing at a rate equal to the general populace, and it disgusts me more and more every day.

    To you sadly misguided fools that cannot separate supporting the troops from approving what they are involved in–shame on you.

    Precisely what support are you showing by backing an immoral war that is continually and needlessly ruining the lives of service members and their families?

    If that is what you call supporting the troops, many of my friends and I will be better off without it. Please, don't support me anymore. You could, however, do me a big personal favor and stop procreating.

    Even if Iraq is 'won', and every terrorist there is stomped out, our polarizing actions have worsened terrorism throughout the world. We have incensed and enraged not only the dangerously fanatic muslim in the world, but also many of the moderates that are now flocking to the fundamentalists cause. You call this progress?

    Something tells me that the 30% statistic would parallel another US statistical range–that of the lower end of the IQ scale.

    June 26, 2007 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Wayne Rose, Johnson City, TN

    Why is it that because someone takes a stand against the current Iraqi policy, that someone has to comment they are from some liberal state? I am from Tennessee, and the last I heard it is NOT a liberal based state. If we examine the evidence, we will see that we were lied to from the beginning, and are still being lied to by members of this administration. Why is it that the Taliban, who were directly linked to 9/11, are being allowed to make a come back because our forces are spread too thin because of our Iraq policy?

    It is going to be interesting how history treats this policy. And remember, history is not always written by the victors.

    June 26, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. James B Camp Taji, Iraq

    It is not the Iraqis who are unworthy of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform but the apparently growing percentage of Americans who have broken faith with the fighting men and women. Most blinded by political rage who can not or will not see what is happening.
    No I don't believe Saddam had anything to do with 9/11. I know he had everything to do with murdering 100's of thoussands of his own people using chemical weapons and all manner of torture. I know the jihadists are coming into Iraq for their chance to kill an American. We set the battleground and now it is time to either get behind the ones doing the fighting and dying or it is time to shut up.

    June 26, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. Bill , Minneapolis, MN

    The very, very sad thing here was all this was predicted long before bush-cheney forced America down this path.

    Remember this folks.
    Congress gave bush the "authority to go to war if all else failed"

    Remember the WMD inspectors were all in Iraq before bush launcehed his war. Remember the rush to invade by bush-cheney?

    The blood of tens of thousands of humans, 3550 American GI's included are on their hands and those 30% idiotic quagmire supporters.

    June 26, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. Monica Stevens, Farmington, Michigan

    This is probably the most embarrassing period in US history. Never has the American public been more misled and abused. All it takes for those who still support this absurd war, is for them to actually do some research so they understand the degree of degradation that the US has suffered during the past few years. But, of course, ignorance is bliss..!

    June 26, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. Tom, Richmond, VA

    One of the best leadership tactics is to clearly define your goals to those you are leading.
    How long do you support something that can not be done and whatever it is to be done has not been stated clearly.

    June 26, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  18. dick little, madison wi

    Everything is going great in iraq. I wish all of you that complain would get off of your butts and support this necessary war.

    June 26, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. Chris, Miami, FL

    Ok, this is CNN and for what the conservitives say it could be biased. Unfortunately this doesn't change the fact that you must be a complete moron to think we are winning. Bush pushed the war on supposed facts that were wrong. Besides that republicans can't admit their war strategy doesn't work. Thanks for digging us in the hole deeper guys!

    America should be a truthful country based on freedom. Forcing democracy on a culture that obviously can't make democracy work is not pushing freedom. Lying to the population is not honesty. Still supporting bush for real moral reasons is a hallucination. Sorry republicans, your so conservative that your just not with the times. Wars aren't won by force, and the American dream is changing. Please stop forcing your republican way of life on others, its not American!

    June 26, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. Ed Colorado Springs CO Fort Carson

    You people need to think about what you are saying. Have you been there? Do you kjnow what it is like? I dont think so!! The only people who support this war are people who dont have family there. These same people cannot admit their mistakes in electing a lying president because of their pride ("oh I couldn't be wrong so I will stick by my choice"). I have done 1 year in Iraq (so far) and I know what it is like, we are not winning and there is no way we can ever win. How much of the pre-war (un)intelligence actually was true??? How much??? None.............Many troops that I talk to every day do not support the war or bush but are afraid to make this public for fear of backlash. How about the substandard care for the injured troops, what about the 40,000 injuries??? with, I think almost half of those missing limbs. Anybody remember walter reid.........thanks bush we thank you for needlessly killing our troops,,,and making the us a villian in the world. The cooalition of the willing,,,,,,,more like the bribed!! with most countries being forced to support the war or lose aid from the US! way to go,, force the world and the uneducated american public into this war.......

    June 26, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Jayson, You say getting rid of a dictator was plenty of moral justification to take out Saddam. What's the definition of a dictator; someone who imprisons people for years in secret prisons without charging them with a crime, without letting them speak to a lawyer, without even telling their families they're alive? Someone who approves the torture of prisoners and spys on his own people? Someone who has decided that his ends justify the means? Doesn't that describe the Bush administration, and doesn't it explain why we have no moral authority anywhere in the world? Bush wants to export democracy to Iraq, but doesn't want to practice it in America. A former second generation republican in Tampa.

    June 26, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. John, Austin, TX

    I think any moron who still believes that this war is worth fighting should be denied their right to blog, that is, like the troops have been denied the right to do in Iraq. In other words, Nick in Ashburn, VA and the other puppets and toadies of this administration should enlist and go over to fight the good fight they so strongly support. Lastly, to all who say we havent been attacked since September 11, 2001, I say they should consider how many times we've been attacked since September 10, 2001. This is never discussed and I for the life of me cannot begin to understand how this commander in thief gets credit for anything, especially for this war which he lied us into. SUPPORTING THE TROOPS IS BRINGING THEM HOME FROM A CONFLICT THAT THEY WERE LIED INTO BY THE DRAFT DODGING COWARDS IN THIS ADMINISTRATION.

    June 26, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. Charlie, Los Angeles, CA

    I despair. Innumeracy seems to be utterly rampant here. Whatever you think of the war, go read a book about surveys. Properly drawn random samples are non-biased. A competent survey design avoids biased questions. Whether CNN does the poll or Fox News, the results should be non-biased - and in fact these polls tend to be consistent with one another. Consider, a Wall Street Journal poll a week or two ago which showed approval for the war at 26% - 4 points lower than this poll.

    You are entitled to your opinions. The facts are the facts.

    June 26, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. Jeff, Los Angeles CA

    I love it when I read that anyone who doesn't support the war is a liberal traitor. just like Richard Lugar, eh? I guess we'll have to build a lot of gulags for the 70% of us who don't support the war.

    What a lot of people don't understand is that we did win the war in 2003. What we're attempting to do now is complete the occupation. We're building a huge embassy in Iraq right now and have no intention of leaving that poor country. probably forever.

    Anyone who supports this war is a brainwashed fool. Bush could nuke half the world and they'd still support him.

    June 26, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. OH

    Conservative Republicans: WRONG on Iraq, WRONG on Bush

    June 26, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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