President George W. Bush’s lackluster speech Wednesday night failed to convince Americans who listened and overwhelmingly oppose sending more U.S. forces to Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll.
The strong public repudiation comes as Bush faces increasing opposition from both Democrats and Republicans to boosting troop levels in Iraq reflects growing skepticism over the United States to go to war in the first place or that a stable, democratic government can be established there.
Just 35 percent think it was right for the United States to go to war, a new low in AP polling and a reversal from two years ago, when two-thirds of Americans thought it was the correct move.
Sixty percent, meanwhile, think it is unlikely that a stable, democratic Iraqi government will be established.
Fully 70 percent of Americans oppose sending more troops, and a like number don’t think such an increase would help stabilize the situation there. The telephone survey of 1,002 adults was conducted Monday through Wednesday night, when the president made his speech calling for an increase in troops. News had already surfaced before the polling period that Bush wanted to boost U.S. forces in Iraq.
Democrats are far more inclined to oppose an increase of troops, with 87 percent against the idea, compared to 42 percent of Republicans. Overall, 52 percent of Republicans support an increase in troops, although some key GOP constituencies are opposed. For example, 60 percent of white evangelical Christians oppose the idea and 56 percent of self-described conservatives are opposed.
The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
(Includes information from The Associated Press)