Though a number of other polls have been showing popular opinion squarely against the Afghan War for awhile now, the well-respected Qunnipiac University poll had shown stubborn, albeit dwindling, support for the conflict through September.
But in a dramatic shift the new Qunnipiac poll also shows a firm majority of Americans, 50-44, opposing the wisdom of the conflict in general. Perhaps even more telling, the split amongst military families is a virtual dead heat, with 49-47 support. In general military families have overwhelmingly believed in the general concept of the mission, if they have not always agreed on tactics.
Americans are also roughly split down the middle on their view of President Obama’s general foreign policy, oddly split down party lines. This is odd because Afghanistan, President Obama’s centerpiece foreign policy, is still surprisingly popular among Republicans but overwhelming opposed among Democrats. Yet when the question shies away from mentioning Afghanistan and just mentions Obama, the split turns the opposite way.
For the first several years after the 2001 invasion, the Afghan War found itself largely off the American radar. Mutliple escalations by President Obama have led to a huge spike in death tolls however, putting the conflict more into focus for many Americans. So far however, the popular opposition to the conflict has not affected the overwhelming support it has in Congress, and Congressional efforts to end the war have stalled.