Local support for the war has never been high according to Sacramento State’s annual Survey of the Region. Public opinion was split on the first anniversary of the war and pollster Amy Liu says it’s been slipping ever since.
"But it is this year which really dropped dramatically. So right now we have about 70% of the people said ‘it’s not worth going to war.’"
That’s compared to 58% last year. Liu says the telephone survey of over 1,106 randomly selected households also shows that 65% of the people questioned want the president to set a timetable to remove American troops from Iraq - up from 50% last year. Liu attributes growing dissatisfaction with the escalating violence in Iraq.
"The president keeps saying ‘we’re getting better’ but after 4 years you’re repeating the same thing you get quite different message. I guess people are just saying ‘that’s enough.’"
During a recent walk through Old Sacramento, opinions were mixed about the war and withdrawing troops.
"I think we need to finish what we started but at the same time, we do need to start to think about getting out......I think they should just get out and come home....I’ve become a little more disillusioned the longer it goes on but I still support it. I don’t feel that we should try to cut and run."
The Sacramento State poll found that opinions vary somewhat by county, race, income and gender. But the largest division is among political parties. 55% of Republicans believe it was worth going to war while 88% of Democrats believe it was not.