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


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.

(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 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.

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.