The public is now evenly divided over whether the U.S. is likely toAccording to a Pew Research center poll 47 percent of Americans believe our efforts will definitely or probably succeed and 46percent believe we will definitely or probably fail. Three months ago 53 percent saw possible success and 41 predicted failure.
achieve its goals in Iraq
The public, used to seeing problems solved in an hour on television programs, is getting weary of a war that has gone on for four years. Much of the problems can be traced to the Bush administration’s "Rosy Scenario" predicting a quick war followed by a rush to democracy by an oppressed Iraqi public. As the war dragged on, public support for the war dropped.
While perceptions of the state of affairs in Iraq have been deteriorating steadily since the summer of 2003, the past year has seen a particularly sharp drop, support for the war has declined as much as the three previous years combined 24 points in the last year compared to 21 points in the previous three years.
Support for the war shows a sharp difference between the two major parities. Democrats are solidifying their support for a withdrawal, 74 percent now compared to 66 percent in January. In contrast Republicans support keeping troops in Iraq by 71 percent to 23 percent. Independents are more closely divided on the issue with 53 percent favoring withdrawal and 40 percent staying. That is a slide from January when Independents were evenly split.
The movement for Congress to mandate a troop pullout by August 2008 is growing. Nearly six-in-ten say they would like to see their representative vote for such legislation, compared with just 33 percent who want their representative to oppose it. Of those supporting a withdrawal only 16 percent favor an immediate pullout.
While the present troop surge in Iraq is opposed by a majority of the public, 63 to 31 percent, with public support slipping, it may be the administration’s last chance for success.