Milestone: Bush Has Gone Two Years Without Majority Support on Iraq

As President Bush continues his desperate campaign to sell his flawed Iraq strategy to the American public, a new CBS News poll finds that most Americans aren’t buying what President Bush is selling.

The trends over time tell an important story of President Bush’s failed efforts to shift the basic structure of American public opinion on Iraq:

President Bush has lacked support and approval from a majority of Americans on Iraq for TWO YEARS. The last time a clear majority of Americans said that they approved President Bush’s handling of Iraq was December 2003, just after the capture of Saddam Hussein.

— Fully 58 percent disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the situation with Iraq – unchanged since he began his public relations offensive in late November.

— A majority of Americans (54 percent) support a timetable for withdrawal.

There have been some slight shifts on some certain questions – 49 percent say United States troops should stay in Iraq as long as it takes to make sure Iraq is a stable democracy, up 6 points since early November.

But overall, President Bush’s efforts to shift Americans’ opinions on Iraq, just as he failed to make the case for his Social Security plan last year.

A bipartisan majority of 79 senators in November supported a vote of no confidence in President Bush’s Iraq policy, calling on him to put forward a real strategy for success.

President Bush has failed to make his case. It is time for a new course.

Brian Katulis