December 6th, 2009
12:46 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans mostly agree with Obama on Afghanistan


Americans agree with the Afghanistan policy Barack Obama announced on Tuesday night at West Point, according to a new national poll out Sunday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Americans agree with the Afghanistan policy Barack Obama announced on Tuesday night at West Point in large measure because they agree with the arguments the president made in that speech, according to a new national poll.

In his prime time address at the U.S. Military Academy, where Obama spelled out his decision to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to the war, the president stressed that America's safety and security are at stake in Afghanistan. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey released Sunday morning indicates 64 percent of Americans agree with the president, with one in three saying the country's safety and security is not at stake in Afghanistan. According to the poll, 63 percent of people questioned also agree with Obama that the U.S. action in Afghanistan is morally justified.

Full results (pdf)

"That's one major way that Afghanistan is different from Iraq in the public's mind," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "At the time of the Iraq surge in 2007, most Americans questioned whether that war was justified."

The president met with military and civilian advisers for three months before announcing his Afghanistan decision. Obama said he needed that time to review the options available. Did he take too long to decide? Fifty-six percent say no, with 43 percent feeling three months was not necessary.

But Obama also said that his objectives in Afghanistan included preventing terrorists from re-establishing a base of operations in that country and establish a stable government that the terrorists will not be able to overthrow. The poll indicates less than four in ten believe that those goals will be reached.

"As a result, nearly six in ten say defeat is possible, but an equal number also say victory is possible. Most Americans think a stalemate is the likeliest outcome, something that may make an exit strategy harder to implement if that prediction comes true," adds Holland.

Forty-two percent of people questioned in the poll say they watched the president's Tuesday night address on Afghanistan. Of those who viewed the speech, 34 percent say it makes them more likely to support Obama's polices on Afghanistan, 16 percent said the address makes them less likely to back Obama's strategy, and 50 percent said it had no effect.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, following the president's Tuesday night speech, with 1,041 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The poll's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Afghanistan • CNN poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    Woonsocket, I am starting to think you are saying this just to grab attention and spark a verbal fight just because you want to. I am not that immature. I am still young, but at least I learned when to keep my mouth shut when I need to. After reading what you have said, I am going to open my mouth, and say this, "If you don't have anything constructive or nice to say, DO NOT say anything at all." If you are so sure that President Obama is a "Jihadist" "Muslim", get off your couch and prove it. Have a good day, sir. If you want to see a real Republican, pick up a book, and look at a picture of Abraham Lincoln. Then read about him, and how all Americans should act.

    December 6, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. St. Louis Jake

    Woonsocket grew up in a single-wide in the hills of West Virginia. Did you know that?

    December 6, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Bren


    Fox News has ALL top cable news/commentary shows. They are beat by nobody!!!

    The state run media sources will NOT question anything about Obama and his Admin that does not put him in a good light.

    Where are the live/print reports on the "Climategate" emails--which proves the Al Gore, Democrats, and MANY others---lies, fraudulent information, etc.---regarding global warming/climate change.

    And, you are right..........Why no questions as to Obama's college records not being released??? His medical records?? etc.--no questions by the state run media sources.

    The 2010 elections cannot get here soon enough--and they will be like Christmas--as MANY Democrats are going to be sent to the unemployment lines. There are 49 blue dog Democrats in conservative districts--up for reelection---all in districts that were won by McCain!!!

    December 6, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Mike

    Losers: Continue to spew your hate from both sides of the aisle, CNN will continue to provide your forum to denigrate America.

    December 6, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. republicans hate america

    cant wait for 2012 when i get to vote for obama again. thats the bottom line people he will be president again

    December 6, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. e.c.coleman

    There is no way that any news about obama is "good news."

    Without Afghanistan, the poll for obama would read "0" or ZERO!!

    obama is the weakest, most ineffective president in the history
    of the United States.

    All those "nay-sayers" who said obama was too Inexperiened, Unqualified, and did not possess any Management Decision Making Skills, were obviously, totally, 100% Correct.

    obama does not belong in Our Oval Office.

    It is also an amazement that obama was elected because of a
    crooked, "community organization, ACORN." Let's not forget that
    ACORN is in deep trouble with the Federal Government because
    of Voter Fraud.

    This is a terrible curse for obama, since he bragged about working with ACORN, structured the association into the community organization it had become, i.e., until the organization was charged with fabricating Votes.


    December 6, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Clifford in New York

    How does woonsocket get so much air time and I almost never can get through?!

    December 6, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Max Par in NY

    I loved it when Mccain said "to withdraw from Afghanistan would be a historic mistake"...the key word being in in every other country to fight in Afghanistan hasn't come out better than when they went in.

    Education is a key part in forming valid, logical, opinions. Its now become a fact that the right is becoming less educated than it already was...logically making their opinions less valid.

    December 6, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Big John

    Woonsocket you're a pathetic sick lemming obviously following everything faux tells you. I agree with Patti, I'm embarrassed for you and people like you. We wouldn't be in the mess we're in if it hadn't been for ignorant people like you who believe everything faux says.

    December 6, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Jim

    Oh. So the majority agrees he has been the dumbest rock on the planet.

    December 6, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Bren


    "Why on earth are people scared of Obama pencilling in a date to START withdrawls from Afganastan ?"

    -–Are you really this clueless??? This is like giving the opposing team your plans/strategies before a football game.

    The enemy are just going to stay low-–and organize/prepare for when the troops leave.

    Do you really think that any Afghan citizens are going to volunteer and step up to the plate to become part of the military, police, etc.---knowing that the troops will be leaving--and they will be left to face the barbarian enemy once they are gone???

    Nick from San Diego:--–You need to WAKE UP. The Democrats are going to get clobbered in 2010 and 2012--And, Obama is just like Carter-–"one and done"--–and the national polls are showing this EVERY day--as his approval/support is dropping a little more each day.

    December 6, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    Woonsocket, yes, you're right, just because you say so. Ignorance for you is undoubtedly bliss.

    Your claims about President Obama's "corrupt" nature are laughable, imagined, and exceedingly entertaining. Keep it up. It makes us all realize who we really need to vote for again in 2012.

    I hope Sarah Palin is nominated for president that year.

    December 6, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Fitz in Texas

    Anonymous December 6th, 2009 11:05 am ET are a racist idiot

    St. Louis Jake December 6th, 2009 11:29 am ET

    Woonsocket grew up in a single-wide in the hills of West Virginia. Did you know that?
    So, "Anonymous" are comments from folks such as "St. Louis Jake" ok with you? Or would that fall under the "racist idiot" category?

    December 6, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. dallas alphonso

    ":There is no way that any news about obama is "good news."
    Without Afghanistan, the poll for obama would read "0" or ZERO!!
    obama is the weakest, most ineffective president in the history
    of the United States"

    Unlike you Mr Coleman, the Majority of Americans are pretty smart. They make me very proud of my Country on this beautiful Sunday Morn! Actually look at all the poll results! Americans are using their common sense and can now make informed decisions based on the facts. This is so since now we are being given the facts instead of misinformation from the VP's bunker and by the party of NO!

    December 6, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Death Panel Sarah

    Hey Woonsocket...
    I thought you had your wires crossed when you kept writing 'right wing' when you obviously ment 'left wing'!

    But, I never said anything about President Obama. You are ranting against the wrong person! really need your pill!

    December 6, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Bren

    Remember when Obama said this---and just think, he is now in charge of our domestic/foreign threats, issues and security!!!

    "Iran is just a little country, it poses no threats to the US or the world"

    Barack Obama, 2008

    December 6, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Death Panel Sarah

    Hey everybody Woonsocket is Fitz in Texas(or, at least, they share the same brain!!!).

    December 6, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. ur an id10t 2

    Death Panel Sarah said: Hey everybody....let's ignore Woonsocket. He is too dumb to ever 'get it'!

    Make sure you pick the side of the playground with the slide and the swings when you get "everybody" to join you. (typical Libby)

    December 6, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    I'll agree with his do nothing program, only when he accomplishes the mission of chasin' down "BIN LADEN", until death do we part.

    December 6, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Dean

    Woonsocket, Sniffit, et al are Fox News operatives – isn't this obvious? They pay people to sit on various blogs, including their own, and post as quickly as possible to all news stories that are Republican/Democrat hot buttons. This is the only way these people can successfully have so many of their comments published – as you know, only a percentage of posts actually get published, so if you post 100 then at least 10 will get published.

    December 6, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    This is not a duplicate remark. I wish you people could get your site fixed.

    I'll only agree with Obama's program when the do nothing accomplishes the mission of chasin' down "BIN LADEN", until death do us part.

    December 6, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Death Panel Sarah

    To 'We need a "Woonsocket" poll' ....
    Actually, we need to round those people up, as they most assuredly escaped from the local 'looney bin'!!!!

    December 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Ken

    Bren Faux News has high ratings because conservatards like you flock to it like lemmings. You don't want objectivity, you just want an echo chamber to validate your preconceived worldview. So every source of news that doesn't parrot your opinion is suspect.

    December 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. Big John

    I can't believe thatpeople are so stupid to believe that President Obama would pull the troops out on any given preselected date. It's a TARGET so that the troops have something to work toward. Obviously if the task is not where it should be there will be delays and the troops would be the first to know it.
    ....Stupid people!!! No wonder we have difficulty making progress.

    December 6, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Ken


    You Lie!

    December 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10