Bush Rating on Iraq Improves

Approval of President George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq war has risen, according to a poll released on Wednesday on the eve of a speech by Bush in which he is expected to endorse a plan for a gradual troop withdrawal.

Just 30 percent of Americans approve of Bush's handling of Iraq, but that was an 8-point jump from July, said the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

The boost came primarily from Republicans, men and independents, NBC reported.

In his televised speech on Thursday night, Bush is expected to accept the recommendation of the U.S. commander in Iraq to draw down about 30,000 "surge" forces by next summer.

Fifty-six percent of Americans said the war was not worth the U.S. casualties or the costs involved, compared with 35 percent who believed ousting Saddam Hussein was worth it, the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey found.

Asked what was the most acceptable outcome to the war, 24 percent of those polled said U.S. troops should remain in Iraq until it became a stable democracy, while 26 percent wanted the troops to leave now and 37 percent wanted them to leave within the next year, NBC reported.

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