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Voters Remain Pessimistic About Iraq, Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Confidence among U.S. voters that the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan will get better in the near future remains near all-time lows.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that only 18% believe the situation in Afghanistan will get better in the next six months. While that’s up slightly from last month’s low of 15%, it’s still well below the recent high of 27% in early May just after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Thirty-two percent (32%) predict the situation in Afghanistan will get worse over the next six months, down six points from last month and the lowest level of pessimism since May.  Thirty-six percent (36%) expect it to remain about the same, while 15% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Less than one month after the September 11, 2001 attacks, President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan to end that country’s harboring of al Qaeda terrorists training against the United States. Just 21% of Adults believe the original mission has been accomplished. 

Support for bringing home U.S. troops from Afghanistan is on the rise as few voters think America has a clearly defined mission anymore in that troubled country. 

Twenty-four percent (24%) expect the situation in Iraq to get better in the short term, up slightly from last month’s record low of 21%. That figure jumped to 32% following Obama's death. Twenty-six percent (26%) expect the situation in Iraq to get worse, while 37% think it will remain about the same. Another 13% are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on September 8-9, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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