Americans: We're safer going with the Dems

Deserting Bush and the GOP over national security policy

By Page Rockwell
Published June 8, 2005 8:22PM (EDT)

The full results of the latest Washington Post/ABC news poll are in, with more bad news for President Bush. In addition to finding that Bush's approval rating remains at a career low and that a majority of Americans think he's not paying attention to issues that are important to them, the results show that 52 percent of Americans believe the war in Iraq has not made the U.S. safer. The Post points out that this finding marks "the first time a majority of Americans disagreed with the central notion Bush has offered to build support for war: that the fight there will make Americans safer from terrorists at home."

Not surprisingly, support for the war continues to wane: Seventy-three percent of respondents found the number of American military deaths to be "unacceptable." Sixty-five percent said the U.S. "has gotten bogged down" in Iraq, up from 58 percent in late April. Only 33 percent of respondents said the U.S. is making good progress in Iraq. And 65 percent believed President Bush lacks a clear plan for eventually withdrawing most U.S. troops from Iraq, while nearly 60 percent considered the war to be not worth fighting.

As the public grows skeptical about the war effort, Republicans in general are getting less love from the American people. Sixty-one percent of respondents said that Bush and the Republican leaders in Congress are not making good progress on solving the nation's poblems, and of those who said progress isn't being made, 67 percent faulted Bush and the Republicans for the lack of positive action.

Poll results also showed that this month is the first time since 9/11 that more respondents said they trust Democrats than Republicans to do a better job in coping with the main problems the nation will face in the next few years -- with 46 percent putting their faith in Dems, versus 41 percent who favored the GOP.

Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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