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Support for Nonintervention Grows in New Poll

Support for U.S. intervention in international conflicts is down, according to a poll conducted 7/21-25 by New York Times/CBS News. As Jim Rutenberg and Megan C. Thee note in their wrap-up story on the survey:

By a wide margin, the poll found, Americans did not believe the United States should take the lead in solving international conflicts in general, with 59 percent saying it should not, and 31 percent saying it should. That is a significant shift from a CBS News poll in September 2002 one year after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when the public was far more evenly split on the issue.

The poll also found that 58 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. "does not have a responsibility" to resolve the conflict between Israel and other Mideast nations, but do support an international peacekeeping force on the Israel-Lebanon border.

Rutenberg and Thee cite "a strong isolationist streak in a nation clearly rattled by more than four years of war" and add that 56 percent of those polled support "a timetable for reduction of United States forces in Iraq." Further, a majority of respondents support U.S., withdrawall "even if it meant Iraq would fall into the hands of insurgents," say the authors. And a large majority clearly see U.S. Iraq policy as a fiasco:

More than twice as many respondents 63 percent versus 30 percent said the Iraq war had not been worth the American lives and dollars lost. Only a quarter of respondents said they thought the American presence in Iraq had been a stabilizing force in the region, with 41 percent saying it had made the Middle East less stable.

The poll had some good news for Dems, with 53 percent of respondents saying they held a "positive view" of the Democratic Party, compared to 37 percent saying the same for the GOP. Asked who they would vote for "if the election were held today", 45 percent of RV's chose the Democratic candidate in their district, compared to 35 percent for the Republican.