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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Poll reveals most negative assessment of Iraq war yet

Residents and firefighters gather near a Sadr City bombing.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Pessimism about Iraq has continued to mount, even before the news of Wednesday's bombings in Baghdad.

In the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, taken April 10-12, 69 percent of Americans say things are going badly for the United States in Iraq. That's the most negative assessment yet recorded, up from 54 percent who thought things were going badly last June and 62 percent in October. (Full poll results [PDF])

The public's view: it's not working. Only 29 percent of Americans believe that sending additional troops to Iraq will make it more likely the U.S. will achieve its goals there. Only 21 percent believe the U.S. and its allies are winning; the prevailing view (62 percent) is that neither side is winning.

Democrats can claim to have to the force of public opinion behind them. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said before meeting with President Bush, "the president must recognize that the American people, the military all over America and majorities in both the House and Senate have said the President must change course."

Sen. John McCain's view, expressed in a speech last week: "The judgment of history should be the approval we seek, not the temporary favor of the latest public opinion poll."

Asked which side they take in the standoff between Congress and President Bush, the result is not close: 60 percent of Americans side with the Democrats in Congress and 37 percent with the President.

That 37 percent is a persistent figure.

-- 37 percent say if President Bush vetoes the Iraq funding bill, Congress should pass a bill with no timetable for withdrawal. 48 percent favor another bill with a timetable, and 13 percent want Congress to cut almost all funds for Iraq by next year (making a total of 61 percent who favor restrictions on funding).

-- 37 percent want the U.S. to keep troops in Iraq as long as they are needed. 35 percent want the U.S. to begin withdrawing immediately and 26 percent want to see all U.S. troops withdrawn by next March (making a total of 61 percent for withdrawal within a year).

-- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider
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