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March 28, 2003
 
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(AP Photo)
Polls: U.S. Misjudged Iraq Resistance
Polls Show American Public Thinks U.S. Underestimated Iraqi Resistance, Expects a Long War

The Associated Press


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WASHINGTON March 28

More than half the Americans think the United States underestimated how much resistance the Iraqi army would put up against a U.S. invasion, and even more expect this country to face a significant number of casualties in a war that could last months, new polls say.

Public support for the war remains strong. At least seven in 10 back the effort now that U.S. troops are fighting in Iraq.

More than half, 55 percent, say the United States underestimated Iraqi resistance to invasion, according to a CBS News poll. Two-thirds in that poll said they think the war will last months, up from four in 10 late last week who expected that duration.

Eight in 10, 82 percent, said they think a significant number of casualties will result, up from 37 percent in the opening days of the war, according to an ABC-Washington Post poll. Before the war, almost two-thirds in that poll said they thought there would be a significant number of casualties.

The growing worries about casualties and the length of the war won't immediately affect public support as long as people think the U.S. military is making progress, said Robert Shapiro, a public opinion specialist at Columbia University.

"The public will accept casualties as long as there are indications of success in the war effort," Shapiro said. "What's really crucial here are the perceptions of effectiveness and performance."

Six in 10, 62 percent, in the CBS poll said removing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is worth the potential costs of the war, including the loss of life. About three in 10, 28 percent, said they feel nervous or edgy about the war.

Just over half in a new CNN-Time poll said they believed the war against Iraq has been successful, 8 percent said unsuccessful, and 37 percent said somewhere in between.

But people indicated they are uneasy about the potential impact on the economy.

Two-thirds in the ABC-Post poll said they support the Senate's proposed reduction to $350 billion of President Bush's proposed tax cut of $726 billion. They were evenly split on whether to eliminate the proposed tax cut altogether.

The ABC-Post poll of 508 adults and the CNN-Time poll of 1,014 adults were taken Thursday. The CBS poll of 868 adults was taken Wednesday and Thursday. The error margin for the CBS and the CNN-Time poll was plus or minus 3 percentage points, and it was 4.5 percentage points for the ABC-Post poll.


photo credit and caption:
U.S. Army soldiers search an abandoned medieval fortress in the desert near Karbala Friday, March 28, 2003. Scouts had observed Iraqi military activity in the area, although no one was found in the building. The soldiers are with A Company 3rd Battalion 7th Infantry Regiment with the 3rd Infantry Division.(AP Photo/John Moore)

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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