Gallup: Half of Americans Favor Lowering Troop Levels

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Should the US increase the number of troops it has in Iraq?

Poll ended at Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:20 pm

Yes
7
100%
No
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 7

Gallup: Half of Americans Favor Lowering Troop Levels

Postby Prodigal Son » Thu May 13, 2004 4:20 pm

            
May 13, 2004
Nearly Half of Americans Favor Lowering Troop Levels in Iraq
But plurality would support president if he requested more troops

by Jeffrey M. Jones
 

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll finds an increase over the past few weeks in the percentage of Americans favoring a partial or complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Now, 47% of Americans favor a smaller number of troops in Iraq, up from 37% in mid-April. Fewer Americans today say they would support an increase in U.S. troops if President George W. Bush deemed it necessary than did so a few weeks ago, although a plurality would still support this move. The poll finds Republicans, military veterans, and men in general are among the groups most willing to support an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

The poll was conducted May 7-9 as the controversy over U.S. soldiers' treatment of Iraqi prisoners raged. Forty-seven percent of Americans now support a lesser U.S. military presence in Iraq -- either by withdrawing some (18%) or all (29%) U.S. troops from Iraq. Conversely, 25% say the United States should send more troops to Iraq. Twenty-four percent say the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should be kept at its present level.

These results show a change from mid-April, shortly after Bush's nationally televised press conference in which he discussed the problems the United States was facing in Iraq, but before the prison abuse controversy began. At that time, 33% said the United States should send more troops, and only 37% said the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

U.S. Troop Levels in Iraq

Even with all the controversy over U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, the percentage wanting an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq remains among the highest Gallup has observed since it first began tracking public opinion on this issue last August. The April 16-18 poll marked the high point in the percentage advocating a greater U.S. troop presence in Iraq. The low point came at the beginning of this year, when only 11% favored increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. That poll was conducted a few weeks after the United States captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq – [ROTATED: the U.S. should send more troops to Iraq, the U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now, the U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq, (or) the U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq]?



Send
more troops
Keep as
it is now
Withdraw
some troops
Withdraw
all troops
No
opinion

2004 May 7-9
25
24
18
29
4

2004 Apr 16-18
33
25
16
21
5
2004 Apr 5-8
20
29
18
28
5
2004 Jan 2-5
11
40
29
16
4
2003 Dec 15-16
14
40
27
15
4
2003 Dec 5-7
22
33
25
17
3
2003 Nov 3-5 ^
17
32
29
19
3
2003 Oct 24-26 ^
14
27
39
18
2
2003 Aug 25-26 ^
15
36
32
14
3

^ WORDING: Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq – [ROTATED: the U.S. should send more troops to Iraq, the U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now, the U.S. should begin to withdraw some troops from Iraq, (or) the U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq]?

The current poll also marks the highest reading to date in the percentage of Americans favoring a complete withdrawal of troops (29%, similar to the 28% reading in early April). Thus, as the war goes on, the percentage of Americans taking the more extreme views of a complete withdrawal or an increase in U.S. troops in Iraq are generally both at higher levels than earlier in the conflict, and as a result, fewer are taking the more moderate stands of a maintenance or partial decrease in troop levels.

What If Bush Sends More Troops?

While 25% of Americans currently advocate increasing troop levels in Iraq, another 24% who do not favor higher troop levels say they would not be upset if Bush made the decision to send more troops. This combined 49% can be considered the current ceiling on support for increased troop levels in Iraq, and is possibly indicative of what public opinion might be if the president ordered more troops to Iraq. On the other hand, 45% of Americans do not favor increased troops in Iraq and say they would be upset if Bush decides to send more troops there. This latter percentage gives a sense of what opposition to that policy might be.

The current poll suggests decreased public latitude of support for increased troop levels than what existed before the prisoner abuse controversy. The mid-April poll found 57% of Americans either favoring a troop increase (33%) or saying they would support one if the decision were made (24%). Just 38% indicated at that time that they would be upset if troop levels were increased.

If President Bush decides to send more troops to Iraq, would you be upset, or not?



2004 May 7-9
2004 Apr 16-18

No, not upset
49
57
(Think U.S. should send more troops)
(25)
(33)
(Do not think U.S. should send more troops)
(24)
(24)

Yes, upset
45
38

No opinion
6
5

As one might expect, self-identified Republicans would be most likely to support an increased troop presence in Iraq if Bush pursued that policy. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans say they would not be upset if Bush sent more troops to Iraq, compared with 43% of independents and just 29% of Democrats.

There is also a wide gender gap in potential support for increased troops in Iraq -- 62% of men say they would favor an increase, compared with just 38% of women.

Those who personally served in the military (roughly one in five Americans) also show high levels of support for more U.S. troops in Iraq -- 66% of military veterans would support a troop increase, compared with 45% of Americans who did not personally serve in the military.

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,003 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 7-9, 2004. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
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Postby asterisk » Thu May 13, 2004 6:54 pm

If we plan to stay, we should increase numbers. Where will we get them?

If we plan to get out, we should start drawing down soon.

I have no idea what the ass-clowns in Washington DC are going to do.
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