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'US opposition to Iraq war hits new high'

President Bush's approval rating drops to a new low amid growing dissent from members of his own Republican party over his war strategy.

world Updated: Jul 10, 2007 18:19 IST

Opposition to the Iraq war has climbed to a record high and President George W Bush's approval rating dropped to a new low amid growing dissent from members of his own Republican party over his war strategy, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.

Bush's approval dropped to 29 per cent in the poll taken on Friday through Sunday, down from 33 per cent in early June, USA Today reported on Tuesday.

One in five Americans said the increase in US forces in Iraq this year has made the situation there better while half said it has made no difference, the newspaper said.

More than seven in 10 Americans favor withdrawing nearly all US troops from Iraq by April, the newspaper said.

More than half, 55 per cent, said Congress should wait to hear an assessment from Gen David Petraeus before developing new Iraq policy, the report said.

Petraeus, the commander of US forces in Iraq, is due to deliver his findings in September, but 40 per cent of those polled said Congress should act now, the paper said.

Sixty-two per cent of those polled said the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, marking the first time that number has topped 60 per cent in this survey, USA Today said.

The poll also showed support for Bush slipping among Republicans who gave him a 68 per cent rating, down from an average 92 per cent in his first term and 82 per cent earlier in his second, USA Today said.

According to the report, nearly four in 10 Republicans cited the immigration debate, which ended in defeat for Bush's overhaul proposal, as the reason for losing confidence in him.

The poll of 1,014 adults, taken on Friday through Sunday has an error margin of plus or minus three percentage point.