New Gallup Poll Finds 50% of Public Saying Invasion of Iraq a Mistake

By: E&P Staff A new Gallup poll released this morning finds Americans tilting against the war in Iraq, with 50% now saying it was a mistake to send U.S. troops into Iraq, while 48% say it was not. These results show a slight increase since mid-November in the percentage saying it was a mistake.

Last year at this time, 59% said it was worth going to war in Iraq.

The poll, conducted Jan. 7-9, finds 56% of Americans disapproving the way President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, up from 51% in November. Just 42% approve.

When Americans were asked how well things are going for the war in Iraq, 40% say they are going well, and 59% say they are going badly. This is a decline of 6% in optimism since September.

There is a clear partisan divide, with 82% of Republicans saying it was not a mistake to send troops to Iraq, while 79% of Democrats say it was a mistake.

In another finding, 71% say it is unlikely peace and internal security will be established in Iraq in the coming year.

In an intersting sidelight, the Gallup organization provided results from past polls showing how the public viewed the Vietnam War while it was still underway, contrasting this with the current view that 50% of Americans feel it was a mistake to invade Iraq.

This chart showed that the share of Americans who believed it was mistake to send troops to Vietnam did not reach 50% until August 1968, three years into the heavy U.S. troop involvement in Vietnam, meaning the criticism of the Iraq decision is a year ahead of that schedule.

In November 1966 the negative view in Vietnam was only endorsed by 31%, and in July 1967 it reached 41%. After reaching 53% in August 1968, it hit 60% in January 1971.

Polls in 1995 and 2000 found about 70% holding this negative view.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here