April 20, 2012

Views of Afghan War Turn More Negative

59%

Just 38% of Americans now believe the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going very or somewhat well, down from 51% in March.

Just 38% of Americans now say the military effort is going very or fairly well, according to a survey conducted April 4-15. Almost half (49%) of those polled say that it is either “not going too well” or “not going well at all well.”. In March, 51% of people said that things were going very or fairly well in Afghanistan.

Just four-in-ten Democrats (41%) and Republicans (40%) offer positive assessments of the U.S. effort, while about half offer negative assessments. Last month, majorities of both Democrats (56%) and Republicans (52%) said that the military effort was going well.

This negative assessment of progress in Afghanistan contributes to a record low level of support for keeping U.S. troops there. Just 32% of the public now says that the U.S. should keep in place until the country has stabilized, while 60% favor removing troops as soon as possible. In May 2011, the public was evenly divided on this question — 48% supported removing the troops and 47% wanted them to remain.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of people who support President Obama want the troops withdrawn as soon as possible. By comparison, 49% of people who support GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney share this view. By a 59% to 31% margin, swing voters support a troop withdrawal. Read More