Half of Americans now oppose the war in Afghanistan, according to a newly released Quinnipiac poll.
The survey finds 50% of respondents indicating the U.S. should “not be involved in Afghanistan,” versus 44% who believe America is “doing the right thing by fighting the war.” This is the first time Quinnipiac has found more respondents in opposition to the war than in support of it. A September 9 survey found 49% supporting American involvement, with 41% in opposition. Back in January, the pollster saw 59% supporting the war, while only 35% opposed it.The U.S. has been militarily involved in Afghanistan since 2001. In early 2009, President Obama ordered 17,000 additional troops to be sent into the country, and in December 2009, it was announced that another 30,000 troops would be deployed in 2010. Though the White House initially suggested the commencement of a troop drawdown in mid-2011, recent reports indicate the administration is shying away from this promise; a presence until at least 2014 is now being pushed.
The collapse of support places Obama in a politically difficult position. The survey finds 62% of Democrats opposing American involvement, while 64% of Republicans back the war. As the pollster notes, “If Republicans should desert him, he’d [Obama] find himself with a very unpopular war on his hands.”
The survey also sees military families divided on the war– 49% say the U.S. is doing the right thing in Afghanistan, whereas 47% oppose U.S. involvement.
The national poll’s margin of error is Â±2.0 percentage points.