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Americans More Positive About Iraq, But Divided On Pullout

There have been a number of polls, mostly conducted in February, gauging how Americans are feeling about Iraq, and there are indications in these surveys that the view of how things are going and the chances of success are more positive than they were in the July-November period of last year. However, the latest numbers from Gallup, based on a survey conducted Feb. 21-24, says Americans are as divided as they were last September over whether and how quickly to pull out U.S. troops. And, of course, all this has particular significance for the campaign of John McCain who has made his stay-the-course stand on Iraq a signature issue.

Gallup says 41 percent of Americans favor an immediate pullout, 35 percent want troops to stay until the situation improves, and 18 percent favor an immediate withdrawal. There is no more agreement on how to pull troops out. Eighteen percent favor immediate withdrawal on a timetable, 45 percent gradual withdrawal and 35 percent favor no withdrawal. Most Americans believe that the U.S. will have a significant troop presence in Iraq anywhere from two to five years.

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