Top Election Issue: Iraq
And no doubt we’ll be hearing about it more and more as the election draws closer. There’s very little else the Republicans can try to hang their hat on besides saying that the Dems will cut and run.
Iraq has become the central issue of the midterm elections. There is more dismay about how the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going than at any point since the war began more than three years ago. And the war is the dominant concern among the majority of voters who say they will be thinking about national issues, rather than local issues, when they cast their ballot for Congress this fall.
Pew’s latest nationwide survey finds 58% of the public saying that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is not going well, and a 47% plurality believes the war in Iraq is hurting, not helping, the war on terrorism. The poll finds extensive public awareness of a leaked intelligence estimate suggesting that the war is spawning more terrorism. More than third of Americans (35%) say they have heard a lot about the intelligence report, and these people are much more likely than others to say the war in Iraq is hurting the war on terror.
One note, this poll was being conducted just as the Foley scandal started up, so it doesn’t reflect that.
But here’s the interesting part about those numbers…
But public attitudes about the war and what to do about the troops remain fairly stable. As was the case in early September, the public is evenly divided over whether U.S. troops should stay in Iraq until the situation there is stabilized (47%), or should be brought home as soon as possible (47%).
Anybody want to bet that’s split pretty evenly along party lines?