Americans overwhelmingly oppose sending more U.S. forces to Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll that serves as a strong repudiation of President Bush's plan to send another 21,500 troops.
The opposition to boosting troop levels in Iraq reflects growing skepticism that the United States made the right decision in going to war in the first place and that a stable, democratic government can be established there. Just 35 percent think it was right for the United States to go to war, a new low in AP polling and a reversal from two years ago, when two-thirds of Americans thought it was the correct move.
Sixty percent, meanwhile, think it is unlikely that a stable, democratic Iraqi government will be established.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del., warned Thursday that any solution to the Iraq problem must have public support. Harking back to Vietnam, he said: "No foreign policy can be sustained in this country without the informed consent of the American people. They've got to sign on."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, appearing before Biden's committee, acknowledged broad public dissatisfaction with the current situation, but stressed that Americans are united on the high stakes in Iraq.
Fully 70 percent of Americans oppose sending more troops, and a like number don't think such an increase would help stabilize the situation there. The telephone survey of 1,002 adults was conducted Monday through Wednesday night, when the president made his speech calling for an increase in troops. News had already surfaced before the polling period that Bush wanted to boost U.S. forces in Iraq.
The Iraq situation continued to be drag on Bush's overall job approval rating, which stood at 32 percent, a new low in AP-Ipsos polling.
Democrats are far more inclined to oppose an increase of troops, with 87 percent against the idea, compared to 42 percent of Republicans. Overall, 52 percent of Republicans support an increase in troops, although some key GOP constituencies are opposed. For example, 60 percent of white evangelical Christians oppose the idea and 56 percent of self-described conservatives are opposed.
Women, younger adults and minorities were more likely to oppose increasing troops than were men, older Americans and whites.
Looking at the results geographically, opposition was highest in the Northeast, where 79 percent of those surveyed opposed the idea of increasing troops. That compared with 68 percent in the South and 67 percent in the Midwest and West.
The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
AP Manager of News Surveys Trevor Tompson, AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.