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Poll: Anti-war sentiment grows in Americans 50 and over

Story Highlights

• More than half of Americans 50 and older now oppose war in Iraq
• When war began four years ago, 15 percent of those older than 50 opposed it
• Number of Americans who say they strongly oppose war has doubled
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As the war in Iraq steadily plummets in popularity, opposition has grown mostly among Americans older than 50 and Democrats, survey results released Monday show.

When President Bush announced March 19, 2003, that U.S.-led forces had begun military attacks, 15 percent of Americans 50 and older strongly opposed the invasion, compared to 18 percent younger than 50.

Four years later, the fighting is opposed by 52 percent of Americans 50 and older, and by 42 percent younger than 50.

The CNN poll of 1,027 adults was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. March 9-11. It shows that support for the war has dropped 40 percentage points since 2003, while the number of Americans who say they strongly oppose the war has doubled.

Just after the war began, 72 percent of Americans said they favored the war; today only 32 percent do.

More than six in 10 people oppose the war, and nearly half say they strongly oppose it. Four years ago only one in five said they were strongly against the war.

These are poll results for those who identify with political parties, comparing sentiments in 2003 and today:

  • Twenty-eight percent of Democrats then, compared to 69 percent now.
  • Twenty-one percent of Independents in 2003; 47 percent now.
  • Three percent of Republicans then; 15 percent now.
  • The sampling error for the poll was plus or minus 3 percentage points for all but two questions. It was plus or minus 5 percentage points for the question about age groups, and plus or minus 6 percentage points for the question on political parties.

    A poll released Sunday showed that Americans are starkly less confident and proud of their country's involvement in Iraq. (Full story)

    However, the poll also indicated that Americans are no more worried about the conflict than they were when it began in March 2003.

    According to the results, 35 percent of Americans are confident about the war. When the war began, 83 percent of Americans expressed confidence in the campaign.

    Similarly, 30 percent of those polled this month said they were proud of the war, as opposed to 65 percent who expressed that sentiment in 2003.

    The poll also showed that 33 percent of Americans are afraid of the war and 55 percent are worried by it. Those percentages are roughly the same as they were four years ago.

    CNN's Keating Holland contributed to this report.

    Demonstrators arrive Saturday at the Pentagon during a march in Arlington, Virginia, to protest the U.S. presence in Iraq.


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