46% Are Okay With Keeping U.S. Troops in Iraq Past End of Year
Nearly two-out-of-three voters believe it is unlikely all remaining U.S. troops in Iraq will be brought home by the end of the year, and if the Iraqi government asks for some of those troops to stay, a plurality feels we should comply. Voters have mixed feelings about what America has accomplished in Iraq, but most feel the country is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 31% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the United States will remove its remaining 50,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year as scheduled, and that includes just three percent (3%) who say it’s Very Likely. Sixty-five percent (65%) believe a full troop withdrawal from Iraq by year's end is unlikely, with 21% who say it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
These findings show little change from early March.
CIA Director Leon Panetta, President Obama's nominee to become the next secretary of Defense, said last week that Iraqi leaders are likely to ask the United States to keep troops in the country past the December 31 deadline. Forty-six percent (46%) of voters say if the Iraqi government formally requests troops to stay, the United States should leave some there after the end of the year. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree, but 21% are not sure.
The brief burst of voter optimism about the situation in Iraq following the killing of Osama bin Laden appears to be over and has returned to levels found last fall. Thirty percent (30%) of voters think the situation in Iraq will get better in the next six months, while nearly as many (28%) predict things will get worse there. Thirty-three percent (33%) expect them to remain about the same.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 14-15, 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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