Obama gets mixed reviews on Iraq crisis

A majority of voters says the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was the wrong thing to do, and the 2011 pullout was the right thing, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. 

Sixty-one percent said it was wrong to invade Iraq, and 58 percent said President Obama was right to withdraw troops. 

About 50 percent blamed former President George W. Bush instead of Obama for the current situation in Iraq. More than half of voters, however, disapproved of the way Obama is handling it and just over a third approve.

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More people, 39 percent, said Obama is worse at conducting foreign policy than Bush, while 35 percent said Obama does it better.

More than half also said they disapprove of the way Obama has handled the war in Afghanistan. He recently announced plans to withdraw most troops by the end of the year and to keep a residual force there until the end of 2016.

The poll found 46 percent said the pace of the withdrawal is “about right.” Just over a quarter said Obama is withdrawing “too quickly” and 20 percent said “not quickly enough.” 

Nearly two-thirds said they oppose sending U.S. ground troops into Iraq, and a plurality of people, 39 percent, said the U.S. should not launch airstrikes to take out Sunni militants capturing territory in the country. Only 2 percent said they would support the use of U.S. piloted aircraft, 20 percent support the use of drones and 30 percent support both options.

Fifty-six percent said it’s not in U.S. interests to get involved in Iraq. Seventy-two percent, however, said it’s “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that, if Islamic militants take over Iraq, “they would launch a terrorist attack against the U.S. in the near future.” 

The poll surveyed 1,446 registered voters between June 24 and 30 and has a 2.6 percentage point margin of error.