Friday, March 14, 2008

New major survey finds public opinion "fractured" among anti-war Americans

USA Today reports on the split in public opinion in the US over when - or whether - a military withdrawal should begin from Iraq. Based on a qualitative survey (with interviews) the paper conducted in Delaware, along with the findings of the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll, the paper finds public opinion frustratingly divided into numerous blocs. As has been widely reported, approximately 60% of the US public favors setting a timetable for withdrawal, while the remaining 40% are dead-enders who want to "stay the course" . . . forever.

But there is a wrinkle, as the report explains:
The survey finds the 40% of Americans who want to stay the course in Iraq are relatively united — confident the invasion was justified and the consequences of withdrawing too soon disastrous.

However, the 60% who call the invasion a mistake and want to set a timetable to get out are fractured into four distinct groups, a USA TODAY analysis of public opinion toward the war concludes.

They include those who want U.S. troops out immediately and others, like Tease, who argue America has an obligation to improve Iraq's stability before going. Such divisions have complicated efforts in Congress to force a change in President Bush's war policy.

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