06/22/2006 - Americans are now more positive about the way things are going in Iraq than in the past few months, following the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and President Bush's brief visit to the country, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Optimism about the U.S. achieving its goals in Iraq, which sagged in the spring, has rebounded. But this has resulted in only a slight boost in President Bush's overall approval ratings, and last week's congressional debate failed to engage the public or improve the GOP's standing on the issue.
A 53% majority now says the military effort in Iraq is going at least fairly well, up from 47% in April and an all-time low of 43% in March. The share who believe that the U.S. is making progress in training Iraqi forces, defeating the insurgents, and establishing a democracy has also risen from recent lows.
However, the positive news from Iraq has had a limited effect on Bush's standing with the public. Bush's job approval stands at 36%, compared with 33% in April, and since March he has gained modestly on terrorism and the war in Iraq. But on both issues as well as in views of his overall job performance Bush's ratings remain lower now than they were in February. This is the case for other issues as well, with the exception of immigration, where positive views of his performance have risen from 23% to 32%.
Read the full report A Small Boost for Bush; Views of Iraq Improve on Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.