A CNN poll released yesterday cites a significant decline in Republican voters' support for the military surge now underway in Iraq.
"The final surge was just completed in the last 10 days," Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott said Sunday.
What happens now? "Come September, we'll have to see how they're doing and we'll have to make an assessment," Lott said.
But the public is already making an assessment, and it's not good. In the latest CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 69 percent of those polled believe things are going badly in Iraq. Seventeen percent think the situation is improving. (View the latest poll results)
Thirty percent of Americans polled say they favor the war, the lowest level of support on record. Two-thirds are opposed.
Anti-war sentiment among Republican poll respondents has suddenly increased with 38 percent of Republicans now saying they oppose the war.
Moreover, 63 percent of Americans are ready to withdraw at least some troops from Iraq. Forty-two percent of Republicans agree.
Fifty-four percent of Americans do not believe U.S. action in Iraq is morally justified. (Read the complete poll results document(pdf)
The telephone poll of 1,029 adult Americans was conducted between June 22 and 24, 2007, and has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
"We must begin to develop a comprehensive plan for our country's gradual military disengagement from Iraq and a corresponding increase in responsibility to the Iraqi government and its regional neighbors," he wrote.
Voinovich said his proposal to bring troops home was months in the making. "I think everybody knows that we fumbled the ball right from the beginning on this," he told CNN.
This change was a long time coming, but very welcome nonetheless.
Among Democrats polled over the last four months, opposition to the war has remained nearly unanimous -- more than 90 percent opposed. About two-thirds of independents have also held steady against the war.
What's changed is Republicans. A growing number appear ready to follow Lugar's and Voinovich's lead.
While a few right wing pundits are still clinging to the hope that a miracle will occur in Iraq, and there will be a sudden shift in US military fortunes as the surge marches forward, it now appears extremely unlikely that the administration will be able to dodge the withdrawal bullet another time come this September.
The time has come to begin to develop the plans to bring our troops home safely, and the bravery of Republican Senators Lugar and Voinovich in standing up and speaking out so that debate can begin is commended.
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