Bush running on empty in the polls

Support for the war continues to wane, making some Republicans nervous -- and a majority of Americans, perhaps, more eco-conscious.

Published June 13, 2005 7:29PM (EDT)

Just in case the White House isn't getting the message about Americans' waning support for the war in Iraq, along come the results of a new Gallup poll to put the public's disapproval in clear terms again: Six in 10 Americans said the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq. Fifty-six percent said they'd be "upset" if more troops are sent to Iraq.

Perhaps sensing a potential backlash against the party, some Republicans in Congress are changing their tune: Following Sunday's announcement that U.S. military fatalities had passed the 1,700 mark, Sen. Lindsay Graham said that: "This war is going sour in terms of word of mouth from parents and grandparents ... if we don't adjust, public opinion is going to keep slipping away."

Even Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who in 2003 was so much in favor of the administration's plans that he coined the term "freedom fries" to retaliate against France for opposing the invasion, reversed his position this weekend, saying, "I voted for the resolution to commit the troops, [but] I feel that we've done about as much as we can do." Jones also acknowledged that "primarily the neoconservatives" duped the country into supporting the war: "The reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that's all been proven that it was never there."

It also appears that a majority of Americans could be starting to realize that there is a direct connection between their distaste for war in the Middle East and the nation's appetite for oil. Though it did not address the issue of the war, a recent Yale University poll found that an overwhelming 92 percent of respondents said they were worried about America's dependence on foreign oil. In order to reduce that dependency, 93 percent said they want the government to develop new energy technologies, and require the auto industry to make more fuel-efficient cars.

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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