If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Voters Express More Confidence About War in Afghanistan

Even as more voters than ever call for a withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, optimism about America's longest-running war has increased slightly following the killing of Osama bin Laden. Praise for the U.S. military has risen, too.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 29% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the situation in Afghanistan will get worse in the next six months. That's down nine points from a month ago and marks the first time the figure has fallen into the 20s in nearly two years of surveying.  In prior surveys since July 2009, 33% to 57% of voters have predicted a worsening of things there.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of voters expect the situation in Afghanistan to improve over the next six months, up eight points from last month and the highest level of confidence measured since March of last year. Another 31% expect the situation to remain about the same. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Ninety-one percent (91%) rate the performance of the U.S. military as good or excellent, including 63% who say the military is doing an excellent job. The latter finding is up from 48% in April and is the highest level of praise measured for the armed forces since regular tracking began in August of last year. Just two percent (2%) say the military is doing a poor job.

Sentiments are more stable when it comes to Iraq. Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters say the situation there will get better in the next six months, up only slightly from last month. But just 21% expect the situation to get worse, the lowest level of pessimism found since March 2009. Another 35% expect the situation to be about the same in six months' time. 

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 3-4, 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.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.