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Iraq Transition

Poll: Pessimism about Iraq war growing

METHODOLOGY

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,001 adults, aged 18 and over, nationwide, conducted March 10-12, 2006. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Pessimism about the war in Iraq is increasing, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Thursday.

In the past three years, the number of people who believe a U.S. victory in Iraq is likely has fallen 40 percentage points.

In the survey of 1,001 adults conducted March 10 through the 12, 54 percent of respondents were either certain of a U.S. victory or said that it was likely. In a March 2003 survey, 94 percent of respondents fell into those categories. (Read full poll results -- PDF)

Moreover, 41 percent of the respondents in the recent survey said the prospect of a U.S. victory is unlikely or certain not to happen. Only 1 percent were sure of a U.S. defeat in the 2003 poll, with just 3 percent saying a U.S. victory was unlikely.

In the latest poll, 60 percent said things were going poorly in Iraq, up from 53 percent in January.

And 55 percent said they believe Iraq is headed for a civil war, compared with 40 percent who think Iraq will emerge from its current troubles with a stable government.

Public opinion about the moral justification for the war has also shifted dramatically. In March 2003, 73 percent of respondents said war in Iraq was morally justifiable. The 2006 survey found that number had dipped to 47 percent.

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