Poll: Fewer oppose U.S. presence in Iraq
Majority believes U.S. is not beating insurgency
(CNN) -- As President Bush prepares to make his final speech on the strategy for winning the war in Iraq, a recent poll indicates that fewer people are opposed to the U.S. presence there, but they don't think the U.S. is winning the effort.
Forty-eight percent of those polled said they thought it was a mistake to send U.S. troops to Iraq, as opposed to 54 percent of those polled last month. Fifty percent said it was not a mistake, compared to 45 percent last month.
Despite an apparent surge in approval for sending troops to Iraq, those polled said they don't believe that the U.S. is winning the war. Of those polled, 49 percent said neither side is winning the war, 13 percent said the insurgents are winning and 36 percent said the United States is winning. (See poll results)
The poll, released Tuesday, was conducted with 1,003 Americans who were interviewed by phone. The sampling error varied from question to question, but none had a margin of error exceeding 4.5 percentage points.
Though most Americans don't believe their country is winning the war, they don't think sending more troops is the answer, as only 9 percent of those polled said the country should dispatch more forces to Iraq.
Thirty-eight percent said some troops should be brought home, while 25 percent said troop numbers should remain static. Twenty-six percent said all troops should be withdrawn.
Many of those polled said they believe the U.S. has the ability to win the war, but won't.
Asked if they thought the U.S. will win the war in Iraq, 46 percent said yes, as opposed to 65 percent who said the U.S. can win.
The 46 percent is made up of 25 percent of those polled who said the U.S. will definitely win the war and 21 percent who said the U.S. probably will win. Forty-nine percent said it would not win.
The results of the poll were released as Bush prepares to make his fourth and final speech on what his administration calls "a National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." Bush will speak Wednesday at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.
Bush delivered the third in the series of speeches Monday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he said that the formation of Iraqi democracy was still experiencing some snafus, namely in the political and security arenas.
But, he said, democracy there is progressing, with the rule of law beginning to take root and increasingly more Sunni Muslims participating in the process.
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