More Republicans Prefer Rapid Troop Withdrawal Than Support Staying

Independents, Republicans and Democrats all say bring troops from Afghanistan home.


A Pew Research study released Wednesday shows a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan is no longer a move only favored by Democrats.

Pew says for the first time ever, more Republicans embrace removing troops from Afghanistan than support staying in the country until it stabilizes. [See a collection of political cartoons on Afghanistan.]

Americans have not viewed the war effort as this unsuccessful since 2009.

One month ago, a majority of Americans surveyed said they believed efforts in Afghanistan were going strong. Today that number has dropped to 38 percent.

And the war in Afghanistan is proving to be a major issue for voters on the fence.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

More than 60 percent of independent voters polled said they favored bringing home troops as soon as possible. That number is up 11 percentage points over last May. Nearly 70 percent of Democrats also support rapid withdrawal. Even 48 percent of Americans who say they plan on voting for Romney in November favor a fast troop pullout.

The survey, conducted in early April, came one month after Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly shot and killed 17 Afghan civilians. The survey also came after protests erupted when U.S. troops accidentally burned Korans and photos of U.S. soldiers urinating on corpses surfaced.

  • Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.
  • Read Army Vet: 'Stubborn' Generals Stifled Afghan Conflict.
  • Read 3 Issues Driving White House's Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Plans.