March 26th, 2010
12:53 PM ET

CNN Poll: Jump in optimism on Afghanistan

Americans are growing more optimistic about the war in Afghanistan and opposition to the war has dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in nearly a year, according to a national CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Friday.

The new poll indicates that 44 percent of the public says things are going well for the U.S. in Afghanistan, with 43 percent saying things are going badly.

"That's a huge 23-point jump since last November, when two-thirds thought that things were going poorly in the war," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Forty-eight percent of people questioned now support the war, with 49 percent opposed. This is the first time since May of 2009 in CNN polling that opposition has dropped below 50 percent.

"Opposition to the war is down a bit since January and down significantly since the fall," adds Holland. "The intensity of opposition to the war is also down. Last fall 39 percent said that they opposed the war and their minds were made up. Today that number has dropped to one in three. Optimism has also helped Barack Obama."

The poll indicates that 55 percent of Americans approve of how the president's handling Afghanistan, up from 42 percent last fall.

Support for the war is highest among rural Americans.

"A 55-percent majority of people who live in rural areas now support the war, up 14 points since the fall. That's the biggest increase in support for the war among major demographic categories. Some 58 percent of city residents and 52 percent of suburbanites oppose the war," says Holland.

Read more about the poll on CNN's Political Ticker

Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. sue

    Has anyone noticed there is not much about Afghanistan on the news anymore.......I think someone wants us to forget we are in a war.

    I have a son there on his SECOND tour and I wish CNN would put more about this war on TV instead of so much politics....I am sick of hearing about Sara Palin and what she is doing....I want to know about our tropps and what they are doing.

    May 6, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ergon

    Wait till more body bags come home from the next offensive.
    The people supporting this war don't have children serving there.

    April 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rosanne

    Just one more example of media mind control.

    The American people are not in favor of pre-emptive wars abroad. You have hand picked those that give you the answer you want to hear, or simply fudged the data.

    I ask people daily about war, and I've yet to hear a single person say: Keep it going!

    March 31, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lennybaby

    @Abdullameer.You've said it all!

    March 30, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. 2ndBatt"A"

    Boil it all down, and it is straight up good vs. evil. Evil has no logic, no morality, no other reason except to destroy good. The Lord will return to defeat evil once and for all. I'm optimistic about that.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. James -- Atlanta

    I don't hear optimism coming from anybody.

    March 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A. Smith, Oregon

    I question this 'straw poll' also. What is there to be optomistic about anyway?

    American taxpayers building some 700 military bases across Afghanistan in one of the most costly reconstruction of military bases in world history?

    American's realizing the moment America pulls its soldiers out, the Taliban will quickly take over Afghanistan in much the save manner as before thousands of brave American soldiers gave up their life for that lifeless desert region?

    American's realizing that the US Military is extremely likely to dump much of the hundreds of Billions of US Military hardware in Afghanistan and upon returning to the US, demand new and better replacements for all the missing and used up US Military equipment?

    American's realizing that thousands of new land mines planted by US and NATO forces along with the IED's by the Taliban will continue to murder Afghanistan civilians for decades to come?

    Thousands of Afghanistan Veterans learning they cannot sue KBR/Haliburton for the damage they suffered from the hazardous toxic fumes from the burn pits in the military bases they were quartered in?

    Perhaps Americans are truly optimistic that with the horrific Bush Family and their Big Oil Family Values out of the White House, future American soldiers will not be dieing in the Middle East over Oil Fields and Oil Pipelines, nor fighting any further proxy wars for Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan.

    March 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aginit

    Why in the world are any of the US citizens in favor of this war? Bring the tropops home and let those idiots kill each other off as they have been doing for centuries.

    March 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ali

    O' Abdulameer. If you don't know anything about Islam, or world affairs, of your own life, don't parade your stupidity in public.

    March 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elizabeth

    This reason for optimism is ignorance and apathy.

    March 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mac

    @Abdulameer good point about the human rights issues, but the amount of sharia law isn't the only difference between the taliban and regular afgan citizens, the most important difference is that the afgan people want peace and an end to war which is the opposite to what the taliban want. also most Muslim don't see non Muslims as sub human as you allege.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Daniel

    I guess this must make those right-wing thugs in Washington really giddy.Along with the right-wing media people they must be wallowing in a state of euphoria.Too bad for Islam,but good for Capitalism and the Islam Elitists.

    March 27, 2010 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Iraq Paramedic

    To Mr. Abdulameer,
    The Q'uran accually has most of the Old Testament Holy Bible in it. The true Muslim faithfull also hold JESUS CHRIST in very high reguards. Yes it is true in some parts of the Q'uran it says things about infidels being only worthy of servitude or death but the Holy Bible in several passages in the old testament talks of making war with good consule.
    These people have been kept in the past where war & killing & torture was common place & they now need all our help to be brought into the present. Yes it should be a slow steady progression so as not to scare or intimidate them but, it needs to be done.
    If you really look back a little, say 30-40 years ago you will see that Christains, Muslims, Jews, Arabs, Kurds, ect. used to live & work side by side without all the extremism. Yes there has allways been crime & unfortunately there always will be. I truely believe given the chance all humans want to live in peace. May GOD Bless & keep us all!!!!!!!!

    March 27, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Abdulameer

    The optimism is utterly misplaced and unwarranted. We are dealing with a deeply religious Islamic country,m and our policy does not take that into account. The Taliban are part of the Afghan Moslem population, and, as such, they have far more in common with the Afghan Moslem population that we infidels do. The only difference between the Taliban and the rest of the Afghan population is the amount of Sharia law they want. We infidels can never win the hearts and minds of religious Moslems no matter how nice and generous we are because the Koran tells all Moslems that we non-Moslems are subhumans, that we are their enemy and that they must make war against us. Democracy and human rights, as we understand the terms, are out of the question. Even the Afghan constitution, which was drafted under our influence, says that no law may contradict the laws of Islam. These laws include the death penalty for apostasy and blasphemy and homosexuality. These laws include the legal subordination of women. And, by the way, the name of the country is not "Afghanistan", but the "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan." There is a reason for that.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |