10/12/06 FOX News Poll: Voters Divided on U.S. Involvement in Iraq

Voters are equally divided regarding whether the U.S. should continue or end its involvement in Iraq, with 41 percent saying the United States should end involvement and almost the same number (39 percent) saying the country should continue, according to the latest FOX News Poll.

Attitudes toward continued involvement are split among party lines. Democrats prefer the United States end its involvement by a 61 to 21 margin, while Republicans prefer to continue involvement by a 66 to 17 margin.

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The situation in Iraq continues to be an important campaign issue. More people rate the situation in Iraq as extremely important to their vote (45 percent) than on any other issue. Among those saying Iraq will be extremely important to their vote this fall, a 54-percent majority says they plan to back the Democratic candidate and 36 percent the Republican.

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Many voters distrust information coming from both parties on Iraq — 66 percent think the Republicans are making things seem like they are going better in Iraq than they really are, while 50 percent think the Democrats are making things seem worse.

Nearly three in four voters (73 percent) agree that the United States has sacrificed enough for the people of Iraq, and it is now time for Iraq to take most of the burden of security in their country and let the U.S. troops start to come home.

At the same time, about half (49 percent) agree that military action in Iraq is necessary to protect Americans from having to fight radical Muslim terrorists on U.S. soil.

"It is not unusual for voters to hold seemingly conflicting opinions on an issue as important and complex as Iraq," comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "People have a capacity to understand various sides of an issue, leading them to agree in part with the arguments made by each side of the debate."

Over two-thirds (70 percent) think it is very or somewhat likely that in the next 20 years the United States will be involved in an all-out war with radical Muslim extremists that will affect our families and our way of life.

Views are divided as to whether President Bush intentionally misled the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — almost half (49 percent) think the president intentionally misled the country, while 44 percent think the president gave the best prewar intelligence available.

As would be expected, attitudes toward this issue break sharply along party lines, with 80 percent of Democrats thinking that the president intentionally misled the public and 84 percent of Republicans thinking he gave the best prewar intelligence available.

How should the United States react to the other major foreign policy crisis — nuclear tests in North Korea? There is little support for military action by the United States to try to destroy North Korea’s nuclear missiles. Only 5 percent say the United States should take military action, while 70 percent say the United States should pressure countries like China and South Korea to cut off financial aid.

In the war against terrorism, one in three voters are concerned that Democrats would be too reluctant to use military force, while roughly the same number (32 percent) are concerned Republicans would be too eager to use force; 15 percent of voters are concerned with both scenarios.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the national telephone poll of 900 likely voters for FOX News from October 10 to October 11. The poll has a 3-point margin of error.

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