Considering how emotional the war in Iraq has become, American public’s views of Patraeus are very important because they indicate how much they’ll trust his report come September:
The poll of 1,012 adults, taken earlier this month, found that 47% give him a favorable rating, and only 21% unfavorable. The rest had not heard of him or had no opinion.
This is the first time that Gallup asked Americans about their overall opinion of Petraeus.
In April, however, Gallup asked about the reliability of various leaders as “a source of accurate information about current conditions in Iraq.” Eighty percent of Americans said Petraeus was a “very” (43%) or “somewhat” (37%) reliable source of information about conditions in Iraq, while just 13% said he was “not too” or “not at all” reliable.
“Americans viewed Petraeus as a much more reliable source than any of the other 16 leaders listed in the poll, including President Bush, members of the Bush administration, and leading Republican and Democratic presidential candidates,” Gallup reports today.
“These results help explain why a majority of Americans, 56%, say Congress should not develop a new policy on Iraq until September when Petraeus reports on the progress of the U.S. troop surge.”
This is even more bad news for the Democrats. The tide of public opinion is turning against them, and next month, if the American people place their trust in Patraeus, which it appears they do, they’ll will turn on the Democrats even more if they try to demonize him during the hearing.