–>The number of Americans who believe getting the troops home from Iraq is more important than winning the war there has fallen below 50% for the first time since Rasmussen Reports began polling on the question in May.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters still feel that way, while 42% place more importance on winning the war in Iraq. The latter shows a slight increase in that position. Premium Members can review crosstabs and trends.
By contrast, in mid-May, 52% said bringing the troops home was more important than winning the war, which only 39% rated as more important. In surveys in late June and early July, support for bringing the troops back was at 54% and for winning the war was at 40%.
The partisan divide remains clear, with 76% of Republicans saying that winning the war is more important and 72% of Democrats giving the higher preference to bringing the troops home.
In recent weeks, Americans also have shown record confidence that the United States is winning the war on terror.
Voters continue to see the outcomes in Iraq as widely different depending on which of the presidential candidates is elected in November.
If Democrat Barack Obama wins, 63% say it is likely that U.S. troops will be home by the end of his first term, versus 38% who think that is likely if Republican John McCain gets elected president.
But 54% believe that the United States is likely to win the war in Iraq if McCain is elected, while only 25% think that is possible if Obama becomes the next president.
In the 2004 election cycle, 51% of voters said making sure Iraq becomes “a peaceful nation enjoying freedom and democracy” was more important than bringing U.S. soldiers home right away. Thirty-nine percent (39%) believed bringing the troops home was more important.
Americans also still trust McCain far more on national security issues than Obama. In the latest survey, the Republican leads 52% to 40%, up from the eight-point lead he held the week before.