President Bush’s plan to send roughly 21,000 additional troops to Iraq has drawn broad opposition from the American public, with only 31% saying they support the plan and 61% saying they oppose it. If anything, the plan has triggered increased partisan polarization in the debate over what to do in Iraq. While most Republicans support Bush’s initiative, Democrats overwhelmingly oppose it, and a solid majority of Democrats (62%) say that Congress should try to block it by withholding funding for the additional troops. GOP support for the president’s proposal reflects a sharp shift of opinion among Republicans on the broader question regarding U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Currently, 47% of Republicans believe that more troops are needed in Iraq, up from 26% who held that view in December. By comparison, just a quarter of independents say more troops are needed (up seven points from December) and just 11% of Democrats agree. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.