POLL SUPPORTS KEEPING U.S. TROOPS IN IRAQ
In a dramatic finding, a new poll shows a solid majority of Americans still wants to win the war in Iraq - and keep U.S. troops there until the Baghdad government can take over.
Strong majorities also say victory is vital to the War on Terror and that Americans should support President Bush even if they have concerns about the way the war is being handled, according to the survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies.
The poll found that 57 percent of Americans supported "finishing the job in Iraq" - keeping U.S. troops there until the Iraqis can provide security on their own. Forty-one percent disagreed.
By 53 percent to 43 percent they also believe victory in Iraq over the insurgents is still possible.
Despite last November's electoral victories by anti-war Democrats, the survey found little support among voters for a quick pullout of U.S. forces.
Only 25 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement, "I don't really care what happens in Iraq after the U.S. leaves, I just want the troops brought home." Seventy-four percent disagreed.
The survey was conducted before last week's House of Representatives resolution repudiating Bush's war policies.
But by 53 percent to 46 percent, Americans said Democrats are going too far, too fast in demanding troop withdrawals.
But the poll of 800 registered voters found Americans pessimistic about Iraq's fledgling democracy.
Only 34 percent felt it would become a stable democracy, compared with 60 percent who said it would not.
Among other key findings of the poll conducted Feb. 5-7:
* When given a choice of four policies, an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops was the least popular (17 percent).
* The most popular option (32 percent) was a withdrawal timetable.
* The next most popular policy, favored by 27 percent, was expressed by the statement: "The Iraq war is the front line in the battle against terrorism and our troops should stay there and do whatever it takes to restore order until the Iraqis can govern and provide security to the country."
The fourth option, favored by 23 percent, was the statement: "While I don't agree that the U.S. should be in the war, our troops should stay there and do whatever it takes to restore order until the Iraqis can govern and restore security to their country."
See This Poll Also: Most Americans Want to Win in Iraq and this poll: Recent Poll Shows Americans Oppose Cutting Funding of Iraq War