Public Softens Slightly on Bush

New poll shows approval rating climbing; war strategy remains divisive issue
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 9:35 AM CDT
US President George W. Bush speaks prior to a bicameral and bipartisan...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – President Bush inched up from record lows in one poll this week, thanks in part to buzz around David Petraeus’ report on Iraq. His overall approval rating was 33% in the latest Journal/NBC News poll, up from 31% in July. The results reveal the complexity of Americans' feelings toward the war: They want it over but can’t agree on when.

While 26% want US troops out of Iraq now, 24% support leaving only after the country is stable, and 37% support a gradual withdrawal in an effort to prevent sudden violence. The poll results may strengthen Bush’s position in upcoming clashes over expedited withdrawal. Despite his gains, Americans want a Democratic Congress and president in 2008, the poll results indicate.