Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Just Like Pierre, He Doesn't Care

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Neither Democrats nor Republicans have the public's confidence on Iraq right now:

As President George W. Bush prepares to address the nation Wednesday evening to unveil his new policy on Iraq, he is doing so with little public confidence in his ability to handle the issue. Only about one in four Americans believe he has a clear plan for handling the situation in Iraq, and those who think the war is going worse than expected assign the most blame to him. His approval rating on the issue is the lowest of his presidency. Americans are no less critical of the Democrats in Congress on Iraq -- about as many say they have a clear plan as say this about Bush.

And again: The vast majority of Americans do not favor sending more troops to Iraq:

Bush's expected announcement of increased U.S. troop levels in Iraq runs counter to the public's expressed desire. Just 12% of Americans choose an increase in troop levels when presented with four U.S. options for dealing with Iraq, and only 36% say they would favor a Bush proposal that would temporarily increase the number of U.S. troops to stabilize the situation in Iraq. Of course, those numbers could rise if Bush is successful in persuading the American public about the rationale for his proposals in Iraq.

When asked how much majority public opinion should influence government decisions on Iraq, 36% say "a great deal" and 38% say "a moderate amount." About one in four Americans say majority opinion on Iraq should have little (14%) or no (11%) influence on the government's decisions. So unless Bush can persuade Americans to buy into his new Iraq policy, he is taking a risk of further eroding his already low public support.

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