Snow: Bush will bring us together on Iraq

A new poll shows that he has a long way to go.

By Tim Grieve
Published December 12, 2006 4:20PM (EST)

Tony Snow said Monday that the president will deliver a speech about Iraq once he's done with all his listening about Iraq, and that when he does it will "create a basis of support" for whatever the U.S. strategy for the war turns out to be.

A guy can dream.

In a new CBS News poll, just 21 percent of Americans say they approve of the way Bush is handling Iraq now -- the lowest number the poll has ever recorded.

Bush's latest plunge comes at the hands of Republicans. Last month, 70 percent of the Republicans polled said they supported the way Bush was handling Iraq. This time around, just 47 percent of them do. Among Democrats, approval for Bush's handling of Iraq is actually increasing, but only within the margin of error and only because it really isn't possible for the Democrats' level of approval to decrease any further. In November, 3 percent of Democrats said they approved of the way Bush is handling Iraq. Now 5 percent do.

The public's overall assessment of the war? It's pretty much like the Iraq Study Group said: "grave and deteriorating." Seventy-one percent of CBS's respondents say the war is going "badly," and 52 percent say that the situation is getting worse. Only 8 percent say it's getting better, and 53 percent say it's "not very" or "not at all" likely that the United States will win in the end. Fifty-seven percent want a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and 59 percent want to see at least some U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq now.

Bush's overall job approval rating is now at a below-freezing 31 percent, with 70 percent of CBS's respondents saying that they're "uneasy" -- as opposed to "confident" -- about the president's ability to make the right decisions about Iraq.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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