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John Hollenhorst ReportingIn spite of recent setbacks for the US effort in Iraq, Utahns are standing firmly behind President Bush. A poll taken, today indicates, most Utahns believe things are moving along quite well in Iraq.
President Bush spoke to the nation last night, evidently worried that his support is slipping. But our poll suggests he doesn't need to worry about his standing in Utah.
The president's Iraq policy has been battered by bombings and ambushes. There are unresolved civil problems like power supply and government services. And Mr. Bush's credibility is under attack for allegedly overselling the threat from Saddam in the first place.
If Utahns were grading the President on his handling of the war, what would he get?
Alma Pillado, Salt Lake City: "I would give him an 'A’."
Fred Moore, Salt Lake City: “ A ‘C’.”
David Christiansen, Salt Lake City: “How about a war-mongering ‘F’?”
The new poll for Eyewitness News by SurveyUSA shows only 18 percent of Utahns give Mr. Bush an F or a D. Two-thirds give him an A or a B on Iraq policy.
Alma Pillado, Salt Lake City: "And I back up any war because I would rather see the war stopped there than find it here."
David Christiansen, Salt Lake City: "I don’t think we should be there at all. I think we ought to be out, flat out."
Most Utahns, 59 percent, say the US-Iraq effort is going well or somewhat well. 40 percent say badly or somewhat badly.
Trudy Bates, Salt Lake City: "I think we've made some progress. But I think we need to stay in there and keep fighting. I think he's doing the right thing."
Craig Smith, Salt Lake City: "Jury's still out. I'm beginning to wonder what we're doing over there in the first place.”
About one-fourth of Utahns think we need more troops in Iraq. About one fourth say less troops. About half say it should stay the same.
Fred Moore, Salt Lake City: "Even though I feel we shouldn't go there, shouldn't have gone there, were there, so we can't back out now."
James Workman, Salt Lake City: "It really is getting old. The army doesn't deserve it. They work hard enough already. And frankly in my humble opinion, peace! Man, you know? I mean really!"
Utahns are losing confidence that the situation will be resolved anytime soon. Only 3 percent think Iraq will be stable and democratic within a year. More than half think it will take at least 4 years.