NEW YORK A new Gallup poll finds that roughly 2 in 3 Americans urge a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, with 31% wanting this to start immediately.
Gallup's director, Frank Newport, sums up the results today: "Taken together, it is perhaps fair to say that a significant majority of Americans would like the United States to either withdraw troops from Iraq or make specific plans to do so, although there is no majority demand that troops be withdrawn immediately."
The poll was unusual in that rather than give respondents a list of options, it allowed them to respond in their own words. Gallup then grouped the varied responses and labelled them with a common theme.
Results showed that almost 1 in 3 want to "pull the troops out and come home," as soon as possible. About the same number seem to wish for a gradual pullout. The remaining one-third back the present course or want to "finish what we started."
Only 2% want to send more troops. The same number urge: "Admit we made a mistake/Apologize and move forward."
As usual, the poll showed liberals and Democrats strongly backing a pullout and conservatives/Republicans urging stay-the-course. Newport writes: "Suggestions that the United States engage in some type of gradual withdrawal increase significantly as educational level increases."
The poll also found that while 64% feel they "understand" the Bush administraton's argument for staying in Iraq, only 54% understand the Democrats' view--whatever that is.
The survey was conducted in late June and polled 1,002 adults.