In an April 2007 survey, nearly twice as many Americans say the recent United States troop increase in Iraq is not having any effect as say it is making things better in the country (46% vs. 24%). There is somewhat greater optimism that the troop surge will make things better in the long run (34% take that view), yet the balance of opinion about the long-term effect of the troop increase has become slightly more negative since March. This is especially evident among independents. In March, a narrow plurality of independents (38%) said the troop increase would make things better in Iraq in the long run, while 35% said it would not have any effect. In the current survey, 40% of independents say the surge will have no long-term effect compared with 31% who believe it will make things better. Read More

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