GALLUP: Gen. Petraeus Viewed Favorably By Public -- So His 'Surge' Report May Gain Support

By: E&P Staff Despite rising criticism from some quarters, Gen. David Petraeus appears to command considerable respect from the average American, a new Gallup poll reveals, booosting the chances that his much-publicized September report on the "surge" will be treated as credible by most.

The poll of 1,012 adults, taken earlier this month, found that 47% give him a favorable rating, and only 21% unfavorable. The rest had not heard of him or had no opinion.

This is the first time that Gallup asked Americans about their overall opinion of Petraeus.

In April, however, Gallup asked about the reliability of various leaders as "a source of accurate information about current conditions in Iraq." Eighty percent of Americans said Petraeus was a "very" (43%) or "somewhat" (37%) reliable source of information about conditions in Iraq, while just 13% said he was "not too" or "not at all" reliable.

"Americans viewed Petraeus as a much more reliable source than any of the other 16 leaders listed in the poll, including President Bush, members of the Bush administration, and leading Republican and Democratic presidential candidates," Gallup reports today.

"These results help explain why a majority of Americans, 56%, say Congress should not develop a new policy on Iraq until September when Petraeus reports on the progress of the U.S. troop surge."

Critics have charged tha Petraeus has been a strong booster of the war since the beginning, has been proven wrong in some of his earlier projections, and made up his mind long ago that the "surge" deserved to keep moving forward.


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