Bush gains some public support for troop surge plan


President Bush faces widespread opposition to the troop buildup in Iraq, though he has gained support over the past month, an AP-Ipsos poll found. The president has nudged support for the troop increase to 35 percent from 26 percent in early January. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed still oppose the increase.

The increased support came from some of Bush’s core supporters — Republicans, men, whites, suburbanites and people with higher incomes.

House Democrats, responding to the public’s unhappiness with the war, pushed a nonbinding resolution that criticized Bush for the planned buildup. The resolution passed Friday.

A majority of people said the war was a hopeless cause and they did not think more troops would stabilize Iraq, according to the poll released Friday.

Bush said this week that members of the House “have every right to express their opinion” on the resolution. But he indicated he would fight hard for the money needed to cover the costs of the additional troops.

Two-thirds of those questioned oppose cutting money for the troops and 60 percent are against cutting money intended just for the additional troops.

Nearly half of Democrats oppose cutting money for the additional troops and almost two-thirds of those who know someone who has served in Iraq oppose that idea.

Democrats are considering how to pressure Bush to scale back military efforts in Iraq. They are wary of the political risks of cutting money, which could invite charges that they do not support the troops.

The poll of 1,002 adults was taken Monday through Thursday and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


AP Polling Director Mike Mokrzycki and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this story.

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