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. Justin Kane, Hudson MA

    It is very interesting to note that many Americans who want us to pull out completley are the same ones advocating action in Darfur. Make the connection people, if you think what is happening now is bad, inmagine what it will be like if we withdrew. Iraq would be a bloodbath, and the world would just sit by as tens of thousands died. I don't care if you think that we should pull out of Iraq, I don't care if you think that the war was mismanaged, we need to do this if for no other reason than no one else will. We are a global hyperpower, it's time we started to act like it.

    June 26, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. erika morgan black dimond wa

    And I am wondering how many uncounted calls they made to find 30% who don't see through the lies around the Iraq issue. It's true, predicated on falsehoods, motivated by greed for oil companies, including inhumanity by americans, spawning hatred by destruction, we could have salvaged something if we had come home May 2002 now there is only more loosing for us in Iraq – the longer we prolong our leaving the more pathetic we become.

    June 26, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Rusty Austin, LA, CA

    One thing you can say for Bush, at least he's smarter than anyone that voted for him...

    June 26, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  4. Sgt. Jay Rocco Sacramento, CA.

    All of you lefties who hate Bush and want to cut and run from this war in Iraq need to read The Coming War with Islam by Solly Ganor. It will enlighten you. Pull your heads out of your kool-aid cup and get smart! Iran and the extremely fanatical suicide terrorists WANT you to believe what youre being told by the enemedia, which is what we call AP, CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC. Pushing a liberal agenda instead of telling the truth about Islam will get us ALL killed. You think I'm kidding? Stop being so partisan and left-leaning and smarten up.Do any of you know what the brotherhood of Islam is? Caliphate? Sharia Law? Wise up! Get educated! Think for yourselves, and quit being willing sheeple to the liberal cause. Are you suicidal?...A BIG Thank you to our brave and noble troops for allowing me the right to speak my mind.Semper Paratus!

    June 26, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. Jennifer, Hinesville, GA

    I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion about the war in Iraq. There are people who say that we need to bring our Soldiers home and to stop fighting a losing battle. I agree with the fact that we do need to bring our Soldiers home, but if we were to bring our Soldiers home now, we would be making a statement the rest of the world and more importantly the terrorists that we quit after not accomplishing something in a certain timeframe. Also, if we were to bring our Soldiers home now, what would you tell the spouses, children, parents and friends of all of the fallen Soldiers? The ones who gave their life defending our nation so you can sit here in the states safe and able to say whatever you please about the war and how we are fighting a losing battle?

    June 26, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  6. Tricia M Ch'town, PEI Canada

    I am tired of hearing comments that those who don't support the Iraq war initiated on lies and suppositions are NOT SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS! What does one have to do with the other? So your saying even though you feel BUSH initiated a bogus war, we should support it as by not doing so we are not supporting our troops!?? HUH?

    Oh, I See! Supporting troops means saying this war was legit, necessary, and constitutional even while knowing it wasn't and at same time knowing our troops are there under misguided, misconceived pretenses, under constant danger and losing their lives daily so as they can feel better about the mess they're in! That is not support, that is sending gasoline to keep fires that should have been put out long ago burning longer while knowing the result will increase death tolls and hardships on all!!

    And if anyone thinks for one minute that our brave military heroes who are doing everything in their power to win this war against all odds are going to admit publicly to the world that this war was and still is a losing battle you don't know the meaning of pride and self sacrifice!

    It is WE our military family who need to unite and DEMAND that this comedy of errors called a War End Now and our brave, honourable, worthy military return home to their loving, self sacrificing families instead of preserving a fairy tale with no story line, and no happy ending for real or make believe in sight!

    June 26, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Bush apologists and the right-wing QUIT making excuses, living in denial or trying to blame CNN for generating a "liberal media" false poll.

    In case Kathryn in SC and the gang didn't notice, this poll is consistant with just about every other poll taken over the past year.

    Ted said it best...we went into this war on a pack of lies.

    NEVER should the US launch pre-emptive wars on a nation that never attacked us. Ron Paul was the only Republican with the guts to tell us the truth.

    June 26, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  8. Darius Angel,reading , p.a.

    The war in iraq or should i say all over is taking its toll on all the people.But now we have a new war .The war at home.The soldiers serving in iraq now and returning are now going back 4 to 5 months after they return.We struggle to fight the good fight but fight harder to keep whats left of our lives together . The surge isnt really what it appears to be. All that is happening is those who are just getting back are simply getting sent back.2 wars in 1 .It's going to get worse.

    June 26, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  9. Pattie Ogino, North Pole, Alaska

    I never voted for Bush but when he became our president, I accepted him as such because the majority chose him to be our president. That is how our democracy works. It seems easy for a lot of people to complain and put all the blame on Bush. “We the People” allowed the invasion of Iraq whether we agreed with it or not……because many of us did not get involved with the decision nor did we think it through. “We the People” let it happen. I believe when the blaming stops the healing starts. So why don’t we all focus more energy on what we should do now instead of complaining. I do not believe it is morally right to invade Iraq and just leave, but if the majority of ” We the People” feel that it is what we should do, then we should consider it. Personally, I pray not. Let’s brainstorm without all the finger pointing and see if there is potential to come up with a workable plan if the current one does not work. If increasing troops in Iraq is not working, I hope all our energy is not wasted on more complaining and instead focused on finding another solution. Personally, I am embarrassed to think how many people outside the United States read how the American people spend so much time putting down their own President.

    June 27, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  10. Steven L., Lowell MA

    I supported this war in 2002-2003, when it was supposed to be about eliminating the Saddam regime and its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

    But once we didn't find any WMD, and once the mission morphed into this nation-building/democracy-building venture, it became a silly waste of U.S. resources. Even worse, there is nothing about nation-building by force in the original war resolution passed by Congress in October 2002. It only talked about eliminating the strategic threat from Saddam. In my judgment, Bush has exceeded his congressional authorization–a potentially impeachable offense.

    In December 2003, David Kay had reported to Congress that no significant WMD could be found inside Iraq. That should have been our cue to start withdrawing from Iraq and deal with other threats and issues elsewhere.

    June 27, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  11. Emily, Vancouver, Canada

    I read somewhere the other day that 65% of republicans believe in creationism..........That 30% in this poll today roughly corresponds to these numbers. It's impossible not to draw the conclusion that these people are the simply-not-very-bright of America. These are also the people that self-rightously attend the monster churches that only America specializes in, where faith in Jesus is cynically manipulated to keep people stupid and completely misguided about the meaning of Jesus' words. Jesus – you remember him – he was the one that said 'Love thy neighbour as thyself', and that it is easier to thread a needle with a camel than for a rich man to reach heaven. Those points seem pretty basic; not complicated at all. The sick joke of America is that religious fundamentalists are anything BUT christian in their makeup. Jesus must weep to see how his beliefs have been so brutally abandoned. Shame on you America, supporting torturing, lying, licentious murderers.

    An American in Canada (thank Christ!)

    June 27, 2007 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  12. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    I completely agree with your comments on most polling. You have to really scrutinize the source and the professionalism of the poll. It is too commonly a journalists' lie (any information set forth to smudge or bias reality is a lie). CNN tops the list of unprofessional polls. And I like CNN for the most part, but they need to up their poll standards.

    June 27, 2007 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  13. Kathryn Charleston, SC

    By winning this war it means we won't have to walk around in our own house worrying if today is the day we go to work and get bombed. Do you want to live with that feeling? How can you possibly think we shouldn't be there? WE have accomplished a lot, you just never hear about the good things we are doing over there, you never hear what the troops have to say. And the few you have heard from of course have something negative to say, the left wing media look for that small 1%; they are usually retired and have some sort of vengence against the US Military. I proudly serve everyday in the military and for you to not do your research shows discredit upon you.

    June 27, 2007 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  14. Rocco, West Palm Beach, FL

    As I read the comments to the morality of the Iraq war I wonder, is there morality in any war? The fact our country and the world are bogged down in this terrible conflict diminishes our ability to do things in the world that will make this a better place for all of us. This Neo Con administration got us into this conflict for all the wrong reasons and they are not able to get us out. It is “passed time” our government primarily the Congress stood up and realised this nonsense has got to be brought to a conclusion. We can not wait for Bush or Cheney because they are War Mongers and have no realistic plan to draw this war to a conclusion. It is despicable that they got us here and they should be punished for that act. But in the meantime let the smarter and cooler heads get us OUT!

    June 27, 2007 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  15. Perry Logan, Austin, TX

    The Republicans are going to get slaughtered in 2008.

    June 27, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  16. Alex, Boston MA

    This poll is probably skewed RIGHT rather than LEFT, due to the fact that most young people use cell phones and have eliminated the land lines they call for polling...SORRY Kathryn from Charleston

    June 27, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  17. Anonymous

    I'm positive the Communist News Network won't post this but what the heck, here goes anyway: I'd like this article posted because I seem to do more research than this 'news' agency is capable of doing.

    Wouldn't it be great if the main-stream media in this country reported the terrorist death toll on a daily basis rather then their attempted "advancements" in the war? IE Car bombs.

    This year, for instance, the U.S. has killed roughly 650 terrorists a month, according to published reports and Defense Department estimates. That compares with about 37 U.S. combat deaths per month, through May.

    The ratio, thus, is about 18 terrorists killed in combat for every allied soldier killed. And that doesn't include the current offensive in Diayala Province, Operation Arrowhead Ripper, which dispatched 159 enemy combatants in just the first five days.

    Since the war began, we've lost about 70 troops a month. This compares with 526 a month in Vietnam, more than 900 a month in Korea and 6,639 a month during World War II.

    In other words, by any meaningful metric employed, the U.S. is winning this war. But it will never be reported that way.

    This is nothing new. Go back to Vietnam. Remember the "five o'clock follies," when the press routinely ridiculed Pentagon casualty reports? The Vietnam syndrome continues to this day.

    Only now it's the media misreporting the numbers. Just weeks into the war in 2003, we started hearing the now-oft-repeated canard that Iraq was worse off with the U.S. than with Saddam. This is so plainly wrong that it must be called what it is: a lie.

    And yet, it's repeated to this day. Here again, the numbers tell the tale. In his 24 years as Iraq's Stalinist supreme leader, Saddam Hussein killed at least 2 million people. That averages out to about 6,944 a month for the better part of three decades.

    Most responsible estimates show that, at most, 60,000 or so civilians have been killed since the war started, about 1,200 a month.

    Moreover, no one doubts that Saddam was responsible for all 2 million of his deaths. In the case of the U.S., most of the civilian deaths come from al-Qaida and other terrorists, not U.S. troops.

    We got to thinking about this as a result of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, which began a week ago. It involves some 10,000 U.S. troops trying to rid Diyala Province of al-Qaida terrorists. It's one of the biggest, if not the biggest, operations since the war began.

    And yet, when we looked for news of how this huge effort in the war on terror was going, the focus was all on American fatalities.

    Since Vietnam, the media have approached each military conflict with the same template: "U.S. Wrong, Foe Right." And they've reported accordingly. That's why wanton murderers of women and children are generously called "fighters" by our own media, while errors by our own troops are tarred as war crimes.

    So, in a sense, we are losing a war — the war for Americans' hearts and minds, fought daily on America's TV screens and front pages. But in the real war, our troops are fighting bravely and well — and it's about time someone started keeping score.

    June 27, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. Mike, Pensacola Florida

    Bring the war "here." ... How? They have no active navy. They have no capacity to really -reach- us. 9/11 wasn't the work of scattered pissed off Iraqi Civilians or War Lords - they want nothing to do with America, except to get our asses out of their country. The majority of fighting in Iraq isn't even -with- terrorits "plotting to attack America" - that'd be like throwing rocks at a friggen bees nest - it makes no sense. We have -no- business being over there, at all.

    June 27, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Bill, Southampton,NY

    The facts are straight forward, but no one articulates them correctly. George Bush started his war (Bring it On!) and George Bush lost the war. Remember, he is the Decider.

    Once that fact is understood and accepted, we can together search for the way out that will result in the least additional damage to us and to the world. None of the choices will be easy or pleasant, they rarely are for the losers of a war.

    The current policy of sacrificing more American and Iraqi lives, designed only to allow Bush to save face and not have Iraq collapse until after January 20, 2009, is one of the most callous, cowardly and disingeuous in the history of this country.

    Someone, Democrat or Republican, is going to have to step forward and like a real leader, get us out of this mess, hopefully with the least amount of additional damage to our great country.

    June 27, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Anonymous, WA

    So who is the alternative to Bush and the Neo Cons? Its not Hillary, she voted for the war! The only answer in this race is Ron Paul.

    June 27, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. julian

    it's not question of winning but rather fill the history book ,like the handle of post 911 the bush administration just play a selfish role, bring his own interest first,oil weapons ...use the over patriotic and faith feeling of people of usa,to carry on a crusade ,BUSH DON'T BELEIVE IN GOD,and DICK is A DEVIL

    June 27, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Mary, Beaver, PA

    "To announce that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." - Theodore Roosevelt

    Pattie, the US is not a democracy; it is a Republic, founded on individual liberty, not on the tyranny of the majority. What is a democracy anyway but legalized mob rule? And the mob can be wrong, just as it was wrong to approve of Bush's ill-conceived invasion in the first place. You state quite correctly that "We the People" (the majority) allowed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but even then there were those (the minority) who tried to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech by stating that this war was a mistake. When we did, we were called traitors, told to shut up (thanks to the tyranny of the majority), and harassed by government authorities when we attempted to peacefully protest (another First Amendment right). Perhaps those who didn't "think it through" before we invaded Iraq in the first place should apologize to that minority now?? Don't you understand how this war has damaged US credibility around the world? You’re embarrassed? I'm embarrassed that many people outside the US think that Bush represents the will of the American people. If the majority had had their way in 1776, we'd be singing "God Save the Queen" now. (Thank God that the freedom-loving minority who sought to break with England for the sake of individual liberty.)

    June 27, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. RightyTighty

    Opinion Research Corporation is owned by InfoUSA. InfoUSA collects and sells America's personal information to the highest bidders. They know everything about you and are in bed with our corrupt House leader. You can bet CNN knew exactly who they were calling before the phone ever rang.

    Its no secret. What wrong CNN.., still hiding in the dark?

    June 27, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. mt, Baton Rouge, La.

    Vietnam scarred us so deeply we can't get past our remorse for how badly we treated the returning soldiers from that war. We now are so afraid of doing anything that would not "support our troops." Some conservatives use this fact as a trick or tool. They characterize anyone who doesn't agree with their policy views as not supporting the troops. Anyone using that ploy should be ashamed.

    With the deepest respect for the troops, this debate is NOT about supporting the troops. It's about whether our current foreign policy is making our country and the world a better or worse place. It seems much worse to me.

    I also find it a bit ironic that the same folks who used to ridicule Hilary Clinton for her mention of a "vast right wing conspiracy," now claim CNN is part of some vast liberal conspiracy. About the only thing one can say with certainty about liberals, is that they are far too disorganized to ever carry out a conspiracy.

    It's also telling to look at how the rest of the developed world reacts to what's going on. The approval level for our Iraq policy is low in the U.S., but it's much lower in other countries, including the UK, Canada, and Australia. Those are places that used to be very closely aligned with the U.S. on foreign policy matters. In my experience, citizens of most other developed countries seem to be better informed on world affairs than U.S. citizens are, yet we somehow assume we have all the right answers and the rest of the world is wrong.

    I look forward to the day when we have moved past this tragedy. It is divided and wounded our wonderful country. No matter what you think of Bush and his policies, one thing is beyond dispute: this country is far more polarized today than before he took office. That will be a big part of Bush's lasting legacy.

    June 27, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. LooseyGoosey

    In my experience, citizens of most other developed countries seem to be better informed on world affairs than U.S. citizens. This country is far more polarized today than before he took office.
    – mt, Baton Rouge, La.

    Guess you missed the Clinton years and have never traveled abroad.

    But I do see that when in Louisiana. So please, don't pretend to speak for the rest of us..

    June 27, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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