Poll: Doubts About McCain's View Of Iraq

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., remarks on the resignation of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006, during a news conference at his his office in Phoenix.
AP Photo/Matt York
John McCain's upbeat view of the war in Iraq isn't shared by many Americans, according to a CBS News poll.

McCain's negative ratings have risen this year, and a sizeable number of Americans believe he's painted too rosy a picture of the situation in Iraq.

The poll was conducted before the GOP presidential hopeful made what his campaign called a major speech on Iraq Wednesday at the Virginia Military Institute.

Thirty-nine percent of those polled said McCain's descriptions of U.S. progress in Iraq make things sound like they're going better than they actually are. That's compared with 29 percent who believe McCain, who recently returned from a trip to the war-torn country, is describing the situation in Iraq accurately.


Better than they really are
39 percent
Worse than they really are
9 percent
Describing things accurately
29 percent
Don't know/No answer
23 percent

McCain's strong support for the war could have political consequences for him: registered voters' views of McCain have grown more negative this year. Today more voters view him unfavorably than favorably, by 31 to 26 percent. Despite his presidential campaign, however, McCain remains unknown to, or elicits no opinion from 42 percent of voters.

(Registered voters)

26 percent
31 percent
Undecided/Haven't heard
42 percent

The poll also found that two-thirds of Americans continue to believe things are going badly in Iraq, about the same number as a month ago but more negative than one year ago.

A majority, 54 percent, is also not optimistic that the U.S. can succeed in Iraq.

Read the complete CBS News poll results.

For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.

This poll was conducted among a random sample of 480 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone April 9-10, 2007. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus five percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.