UTICA, New York – A Zogby Interactive poll of nearly 2,300 likely voters conducted from Nov. 4-6 found a plurality (48%) saying President Obama’s deliberations on whether to increase Afghan troop levels showed weakness on his part, rather than strength.
The survey also showed 73% both saying the war in Afghanistan is important to U.S. security and that the current Afghan government is not a reliable partner. The margin of error is +/-2.1%, and higher for subgroups.
Respondents were offered two statements about Obama’s decision-making on increasing troops in Afghanistan. One said that Obama was showing strength by deliberating, gathering information from field commanders and assessing the political situation after the Afghan elections. The other said that delaying showed weakness since field commanders have made clear they need more troops and the Afghan political situation is already known. Here are the results of that question, with breakdowns by party affiliation and ideology.
The position that the War in Afghanistan is important to U.S. security was shared across party lines, as 90% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats agreed with it.
On the question about the reliability of the Afghanistan government and President Hamid Karzai as a U.S. ally, 73% said the Karzai government was either “not very reliable” (51%) or “not at all reliable” (22%). This majority opinion was held across the political spectrum, with Republicans (61%) somewhat less likely to say the Afghans were unreliable than were Democrats (82%).
Pollster John Zogby: “Obama’s deliberations on increasing troops in Afghanistan have cost him some credibility, but that may be forgotten once he makes a decision. There is striking unanimity that this war is important, and that the Karzai government is not a reliable ally. At some point, the nation must come to grips with the conflict in those two facts.”