2008 record      


Half the public now supports sending ground troops to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as support for President Obama's strategy deteriorates, the latest IBD/TIPP poll finds.

This stunning finding highlights the growing concern about the recent successes of IS, including the fall of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, both of which occurred before the survey started.

The poll, which was conducted last week, found that 50% now back sending ground troops into Iraq and Syria, while 44% oppose it. Last September, just 42% supported ground troops to fight IS, while 52% were opposed.

Even among Democrats, support has gone from 19% last September to 32% in the latest poll.

These results come despite Obama's repeated claims that his strategy is working, his pledge not to send ground troops into this fight and the public's perceived war weariness with the Middle East.

But the poll shows that Americans are deeply concerned about IS, with 75% saying the group poses "a serious and direct threat to the American homeland." That view is shared across all demographic, political and ideological groups.

And 80% believe the Islamic State's use of social media to recruit Americans poses a real threat to the country.

The majority also see the loss of Ramadi as an indication of "a weak U.S. strategy" — 69% say this. Just 21% buy the White House spin that it was just "part of the ups and downs of warfare."

The poll also finds the public less convinced that Obama has a clear plan to defeat IS than previously: Just 17% say he does, down from 21% when the same question was asked in March. Nearly three quarters (73%) say Obama doesn't have a clear plan, up from 63% in March.

In addition, just 26% think the U.S. and its allies are winning the war against IS, while 70% say they aren't. Those numbers have deteriorated slightly since February.

However, two-thirds of the public remain upbeat that the U.S. will "eventually succeed" in defeating IS. While this belief is held more strongly by Democrats (73% of whom say IS will be defeated), more than half of the Republicans surveyed (59%) also have a positive outlook in this regard.

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