By: E&P Staff
While President Bush remains more popular within the military than outside it, support for him, and for the war in Iraq, “has slipped significantly in the last year among members of the military’s professional core,” according to the Military Times, analyzing its annual year-end poll.
The Military Times Media Group is made up of the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Times.
Approval of the president’s Iraq policy fell 9% from 2004; a bare majority, 54%, now says they view his performance on Iraq favorably. Support for his overall performance fell 11 points, to 60%, among readers of the Military Times newspapers (100% of those polled are on active duty*).
“Though support both for President Bush and for the war in Iraq remains significantly higher than in the public as a whole, the drop is likely to add further fuel to the heated debate over Iraq policy,” the report continued. “In 2003 and 2004, supporters of the war in Iraq pointed to high approval ratings in the Military Times Poll as a signal that military members were behind President Bush’s the president’s policy.”
Of the poll respondents, all active duty, about half had served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Only 13% called themselves Democrats. The poll was taken from about mid-November to mid-December, with 1,215 respondents.
? Positive feelings about Congress, civilian and uniformed Pentagon leaders and the media all fell.
? Opposition to the draft fell slightly, from 75 percent last year to 68 percent this year.
? Nearly two-thirds said the military is stretched too thin to be effective, though that figure is down substantially from two years ago.
* An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that 85% of those polled were on active duty.