March 26th, 2010
03:49 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Jump in optimism on Afghanistan

ALT TEXT Americans are growing more optimistic about the war in Afghanistan and opposition to the war has dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in nearly a year, according to a new national poll. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Americans are growing more optimistic about the war in Afghanistan and opposition to the war has dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in nearly a year, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday indicates that 44 percent of the public says things are going well for the U.S. in Afghanistan, with 43 percent saying things are going badly.

"That's a huge 23-point jump since last November, when two-thirds thought that things were going poorly in the war," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Full results (pdf)

NATO-led coalition forces are currently pressing an offensive against the Taliban around the town of Marjah. Dubbed Operation Moshtarak, the offensive was launched in February by an international coalition of 15,000 troops, including Afghans, Americans, Britons, Canadians, Danes and Estonians.

Forty-eight percent of people questioned now support the war, with 49 percent opposed. This is the first time since May of 2009 in CNN polling that opposition has dropped below 50 percent.

"Opposition to the war is down a bit since January and down significantly since the fall," adds Holland. "The intensity of opposition to the war is also down. Last fall 39 percent said that they opposed the war and their minds were made up. Today that number has dropped to one in three. Optimism has also helped Barack Obama."

The poll indicates that 55 percent of Americans approve of how the president's handling Afghanistan, up from 42 percent last fall.

Support for the war is highest among rural Americans.

"A 55-percent majority of people who live in rural areas now support the war, up 14 points since the fall. That's the biggest increase in support for the war among major demographic categories. Some 58 percent of city residents and 52 percent of suburbanites oppose the war," says Holland.

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

Filed under: Afghanistan • CNN poll
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Ed

    Americans are more optimistic about war? That is a ridiculous statement. And this is based on some goofy poll by CNN? It must be a slow news day or CNN's parent company is trying to curry favor with the DoD.

    March 26, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Minnesotan

    @Truth Squad March 26th, 2010 3:09 pm ET
    Well, considering CNN and all the liberal media told the public on a hourly basis how bad Iraq was, public support dropped.
    Now, the only news that seems to come out of either Iraq and Afghanistan is good news or no news at all.
    I guarantee if the media covered these wars like GWBush was still in office the public would be overwhelmingly against them.
    I think you left out the fact that we don't have 3 or 4 soldiers dieing per day and a rampant insurgency that was supported by the civilian populations. I'm pretty sure THAT has mostly to do with the differences in the media coverage and hence the public perceptions of the wars. I'm surprised you didn't think about that... actually.. no I'm not.. you're a wingnut.

    March 26, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Mike

    JULIE-You are a fool. Politicans cost us Vietnam and the war in Iraq was won with the surge in spite of nobama and biden saying it would not work and was not working. They voted against the surge while they were both in the Senate. How do you explain that?

    March 26, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Patrick

    watch the health care numbers go up in a few months...

    March 26, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Wisconsonite - Republicans don't know HOW to tell the truth!

    Doug,lib jersey March 26th, 2010 12:33 pm ET

    Thank the media. It is their #1 objective to make wars look bad with a republican president and to totally ignore them when a Democrat is in office.

    Oh for God's sake . . . Doug, TAKE YOUR MEDS!!!!!!

    March 26, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. The Good Fight

    The true war against those that attacked us on 9-11 has been well managed by our Commander-in-Chief.

    If he takes advantage of the stable conditions and pulls us out of Afghanistan now, no trouble making GOPer' can claim we are cutting and running.

    Execute the exit strategy, Mr. President. Get us out of Afghanistan AND SEIZE the Political Advantage to boot.

    March 26, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Dean

    And you know that 60 years later things are going good for us in Korea.
    And we want to tell Israel where they can or cannot build houses.
    It's about time we started looking out for ourselves first and let the world take care of itself. The Swiss aren't doing too bad.

    March 26, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Brook

    Maybe because now we have an actual Commander in Chief with a PLAN running things, instead of the "Got 0 Plans" Village Idiot People.

    March 26, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Dean

    Julie March 26th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

    Republicans are Warmongers.

    Vietnam and Iraq wars were started by Republicans.

    Huh? Johnson who esculated the war from an advisory capacity to a peak of 550,000 in 1969 and tied the hands of our troops was a Republican? I continue to learn new stuff daily.

    March 26, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    That's because the surrenderists have been too focused on imposing this unwanted health care bill.

    March 26, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Chuck Garbett

    These people must be doing the heroin that Afghanistan produces.
    There is no way that we will be successful there–hasn't history in the region and our own recent history taught us anything? I don't fear terrorists or terrorism....I fear some of my fellow Americans who have supported these 2 unnecessary wars which have made us as a country less safe The fight is right here within our own borders–where the educated/powerful terrorists reside. The same Americans who scream at the cost of Healthcare reform–but think nothing of spending 2 trillion on war and the killing of so many innocent men/women/children. The sad part is that most of them are Christians... Which of the 2 situations would their Messiah support?

    March 26, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Ruben

    Republican party ideology is now outdated.

    Republicans are just Wane and Cynical people, their thinking is illogical and irrational.

    Republicans lack education and most of them are lazy Americans who want to make easy money without labor, by Crookery, Deceit and Plunder.

    March 26, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Rahm

    Obama wins the Nobel peace Prize and then commences to bomb innocent civilians in Pakistan......some world we live in.

    March 26, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Patrick

    I supported and still support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I applaud Bush and our soldiers for having the courage to stand up for freedom and democracy in this world, and I support Obama's decision to finish the job in Afghanistan and hope he sticks to the plan.

    March 26, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Party of Five!

    This is where the fight should have stayed all along!!! It would probably be over by now if we had concentrated our efforts where it started.

    March 26, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. stop the nonsense

    Gee, could it be that Americna public Republicans love to tlak about see that our President HAS listened to advisors and is doing his job as Commander in Chief?
    One less issue for themto run on this year.

    March 26, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Matu

    I respect soldiers in iraq , but all the inisent people`s death is .... i dont have words.... an all for oil ? !!!

    March 26, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. j

    I know once they started capturing and killing the terrorist leaders, I began to feel more optimistic. Still there's a long way to go before Afghanistan can have a stable government free of the Taliban and we have to be careful not to lose Pakistan along the way.

    March 26, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
1 2 3 4