Date registered: Dec 2005
Location: United States
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 397 Post(s)
Reuters: Poll Shows Bush at a New Ratings Low
Poll Shows Bush at a New Ratings Low
Support for Iraq War Also Tumbles
By Matt Spetalnick/Reuters 2006-02-28
WASHINGTON (Feb. 28) - America's backing for President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq has tumbled to an all-time low, and the vast majority of troops fighting there want out within the next year, new polls showed on Tuesday.
The latest surveys painted a grim picture for the president as he decried a surge of sectarian violence that has pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war and dented U.S. hopes for stability needed to pave the way for a U.S. withdrawal.
"The choice is chaos or unity," Bush said as bombs killed more than 50 people in Baghdad on Tuesday.
Growing pessimism over Iraq, along with Bush's support despite bipartisan objections for letting a state-owned Arab company take over key operations at six U.S. ports, appeared key factors driving his approval rating down to 34 percent in a CBS News poll, the lowest recorded by CBS.
The same poll that showed Bush's declining popularity had public perceptions of Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq, once one of his strong suits, falling to 30 percent from 37 percent in January.
Sixty-two percent of Americans said they thought U.S. efforts to bring order to Iraq were going badly, up from 54 percent in January, compared with 36 percent who said things were going well, a drop from 45 percent.
Raising questions about Bush's vow to keep troops in Iraq as long as they are needed, a Le Moyne College/Zogby poll showed 72 percent of U.S troops serving there think the United States should exit within the next year.
Nearly one in four said the troops should leave immediately.
A strategy often employed by the Bush administration against critics of the U.S. military presence in Iraq has been to accuse them of being unfair to troops who want to stay until they get the job done.
But opposition among Americans to the Iraq war has grown as American casualties have mounted and unrest has persisted despite a costly program to train Iraqi police and soldiers to take over security. There have been 2,295 U.S. military deaths in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003.
Before leaving on a trip to India and Pakistan, Bush skirted a reporter's question whether the latest Iraqi violence following last week's bombing of a major Shi'ite mosque would affect prospects for beginning a drawdown of U.S. forces. There are 136,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.