Rasmussen’s latest polling on the war again shows strong pro-withdrawal sentiment: 63% want American soldiers out of Iraq within a year, which nearly matches a mid-October result of 64%. Public opinion about the war in November 2007 is virtually unchanged, despite many fluctuations back and forth, from where it was just after the midterms. Whatever else it may have done, the “surge” has not changed public opinion about staying in Iraq.
Some notable things compared with the most recent weeks: 28% now want immediate withdrawal, slightly higher than last week (26%); 41% of Republicans now want the soldiers brought home either immediately or within a year, as opposed to “staying until the mission is complete.” The latter still commands a small majority of Republicans (53%), but this is the lowest level of Republican support for staying in Iraq that there has been since Rasmussen started taking this poll. It is ten points lower than last week, six points lower than two weeks ago and four points lower than the mid-October poll. Since last year at this time, Republican support for staying in Iraq has dropped five points. Support for immediate withdrawal is limited on the GOP side and fluctuates a bit (17% favoured it two weeks ago, 10% last week, 16% this week), but there is now a combination of increased support for immediate withdrawal and withdrawal within a year among Republicans at the same time (25% of Republicans want out within a year this week) and . Republican support seems to be trending back downward gradually after it had increased during the “surge.” 71% of Republicans wanted to “stay until the mission is complete” in late September. This week’s result among Republicans marks an 18-point drop since then. For a bit of perspective, last November’s poll using the same questions showed 58% of Republicans supported “staying until the mission is completed.”
So over the last year we have seen a firming up and strengthening of the pro-withdrawal position with some slight erosion of Republican support for remaining in Iraq. The percolation of information about improved security conditions has not weakened support for withdrawal, but may have instead started to undermine what little support for the war that remained.