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John Daley ReportingAides say tonight's speech will spell out a clear strategy for success, but will avoid deadlines and timelines for a US pullout. National polls show some Americans have growing doubts about the war in Iraq, but not so in Utah.
According to a new Survey USA poll for Eyewitness News President Bush still has strong support here in Utah. On Iraq the administration argues the Bush plan is working.
Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State: "But nothing of value is ever won without sacrifice. And when there is an Iraq that is a different Iraq in the middle of the middle east, we are going to be a more secure nation."
But Democrats want a new Iraq plan and more candor from the President.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D) House Minority Leader: "I hope that the President will level with the American people tonight."
A series of recent polls have shown support for the war and the President slipping, including a Washington Post/ABC News Survey that found 51% of Americans think the war was a mistake.
Still, an exclusive Survey USA poll for KSL-TV finds the President still enjoys strong support here, 63%--the highest number in any US state.
It's something echoed by some Utahns we spoke with today. Some say tonight's speech could help refocus the nation.
Matt Schapper, Salt Lake City Resident: "Reassuring the people that what we're doing is correct and more than anything that he still believes in what is going on there. And that just to explain it's important that we stay there until we get this set up so that people can live a free life just the same way that we do here."
Mike Minson, Salt Lake City Resident: "I think the reason we got into Iraq was probably not the best reason to go in there. But I think now we're starting to straighten things up."
But others are deeply skeptical about why the US got into the war, where it's all going, and at what cost to military personnel.
Jennifer Doty, Magna Resident: "I'd tell him to leave those people alone. Let them come home to their families."
Liz Schneiter, Sandy Resident: "I personally don't feel like they had an exit plan when they entered this. I don't think things are going so well."
Even though no change in course is expected, the White House clearly hopes tonight's speech will help improve the President's approval ratings.