According to late February polling conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 53 percent of Americans — a slim majority — now believe “the U.S. will ultimately succeed in achieving its goals” in Iraq. That figure is up from 42 percent in September 2007.
The percentage of those who believe the war in Iraq is going “very well” or “fairly well” is also up, from 30 percent in February 2007 to 48 percent today.
As many voters now believe that the war is going “well” as “not well” — 48 percent each, according to Pew.
Pew also found that 49 percent favor bringing the troops home as soon as possible while 47 percent say the troops should stay in until the situation stabilizes — statistical parity between the two positions.
The big electoral prize, independents are equally divided:
Half of self-identified independents polled now believe the United States should “keep troops in Iraq until the situation has stabilized,”
Iraq is McCain's issue, he has never shied away from bringing it up, even when it was politically perilious. For the Republicans, the prospects of any Iraq debate, which essentially amounts to a draw with the public, is really a victory, relative to the past circumstance. If the Republicans can take Iraq off the table as a point of criticism, that represents a worrying sign for Democrats, who always assumed advantage.
What these numbers tell us, there is a growing perception that America has turned the corner in Iraq, whether that is accurate or not is clearly debatable. However, in terms of perception, I doubt anybody would have predicted this change in opinion, and it clearly works against the Democrats.