Apparently, the camp that supports staying the course is much bigger than I thought.
Americans are nearly split on support for a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, according to an ABC-Washington Post poll out Tuesday, while a new Quinnipiac poll shows just the opposite.
An ABC-Washington Post poll of 1,119 adults shows voters divided 50-49 percent for a timetable for withdrawal. However, the Quinnipiac poll of 1,725 likely voters finds 51-43 percent against a timetable.
In the Quinnipiac poll, Democrats and Republicans fell predictably for and against withdrawal, respectively, and independents tilt away from a fixed date of withdrawal, 56 to 40 percent.
“The overall numbers show a big partisan split on the war in Iraq. Almost three-fourths of Republicans think it was the right thing to do. Democratic denunciation is overwhelming,” director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Maurice Carroll said in a statement accompanying the poll.
The ABC-Washington Post poll also shows independents’ tilt away from timetables, 53 to 47 percent.
Those polled by ABC-Washington Post said John McCain is clearer than Barack Obama on his intentions for withdrawal from Iraq, 60-56 percent. The poll also showed that McCain is considered a stronger commander in chief by 72 to 48 percent, even capturing most Democrats’ support.
The progress of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq seem to reflect changing attitudes.
The ABC-Washington Post poll shows 51 percent believe the war in Afghanistan is unsuccessful, up from 24 percent in 2002. Forty-four percent say U.S. efforts in Afghanistan are successful, down from 70 percent, the poll shows.
In the broader War on Terror, a majority thinks Afghanistan is more important to the larger terror-fighting effort than the Iraq war.