Published February 12, 2013
President Obama has announced the United States will withdraw its troops in Afghanistan in 2014. American voters are split over how that should play out.
A Fox News poll released Monday finds 46 percent think the U.S. should remove all troops, while 48 percent think some should remain after the drawdown for counterterrorism operations.
That reflects a wide partisan divide. While 57 percent of Democrats would pull all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, 58 percent of Republicans would keep some military presence there.
It seems to matter less whether you're a veteran or not. Of voters who have served in the military, 48 percent say remove all U.S. troops and 48 percent say some should stay. Of those who haven't served, 45 percent favor removing all troops and 48 percent favor keeping some there.
The president is expected to announce in his State of the Union speech Tuesday the withdrawal of more than 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by early next year. That's about half of the 66,000 troops still there.
Voters oppose the U.S. continuing to provide financial support for Afghanistan by more than two-to-one: 66 percent oppose, while 30 percent favor.
By 48 percent to 42 percent, voters approve of the job Obama is doing on Afghanistan. That's down from a 53-39 percent rating last year (May 2012). And down from a high of 57-37 percent approval in May 2011, in the days after U.S. forces killed Usama bin Laden.
Still, the president scores higher in only one other area -- terrorism, where 59 percent approve and 36 percent disapprove.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,010 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from February 4 to February 6. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.