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Most Agree With Trump’s Withdrawal from ‘Endless Wars’

President Trump’s decision to pull back the U.S. military in Syria may be a policy even most Democrats can agree with.

In defending his Syria decision on Monday, the president declared, “It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. We will fight where it is to our benefit, and only fight to win.” Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Likely U.S. Voters agree with Trump’s statement, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey. Just 20% disagree, while 22% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Even 55% of Democrats agree with the statement, although it is important to note that Rasmussen Reports did not identify Trump as the source of the quotation in its question. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans and 50% of voters not affiliated with either major political party also agree. Democrats and unaffiliateds are more likely than GOP voters to be undecided.

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Forty-four percent (44%) of all voters continue to believe that our political leaders send American soldiers into harm’s way too often, but that’s down from 52% two years ago and the lowest finding in regular surveying since January 2013. Only four percent (4%) think U.S. solders aren’t send into harm’s way enough. Thirty-eight percent (38%) view the balance as about right.

Just 38% believe the U.S. military is overstretched these days, also a new low. This finding ran as high as 57% as recently as three years ago but has been trending down since Trump’s election. Forty-three percent (43%) say the military can adequately handle the number of missions it has. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. This marks the first time in Rasmussen Reports surveying that voters who are comfortable with the military’s efforts outnumber those who think it is overstretched.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 7-8, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In late December of last year, 37% of voters agreed with Trump’s subsequently postponed decision to remove all U.S. troops from Syria; 47% disagreed, and 16% were undecided. But at the same time, only 35% thought U.S. involvement in Middle East politics is good for the United States.

Those under 40 are even more likely than their elders to agree with Trump’s statement, although younger voters are less convinced than they have been in the past that our leaders are too eager to send in the troops.

Democrats (53%) are much more likely than Republicans (34%) and unaffiliated voters (46%) to think our political leaders send American soldiers into harm’s way too often. They’re also the most likely to think the U.S. military is overstretched these days.

Yet while 80% of voters who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing agree with his statement about getting out of “endless wars,” only 44% of those who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s job performance share that view.

Those who agree with the statement are evenly divided over whether the U.S. military is overstretched now, but 57% of these voters think our political leaders sent U.S. solders into harm’s way too often.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of all voters think the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror. Prior to Trump's election, this finding generally ran from the mid-20s to the low 40s.

Seventy-one percent (71%) say that when Trump thinks about problems in the world, he is more interested in finding a solution that most benefits the United States rather than the one that's better for the world. By comparison, only 23% thought President Obama was more interested in finding a solution that most benefits the United States

Fewer voters than ever see Afghanistan as important to America’s well-being, but most still stop short of supporting a complete troop withdrawal.

Fifty-five percent (55%) said two years ago that the most important mission of the U.S. military is to fight our enemies.  Just 28% disagreed and said the military’s most important mission is to serve as peacekeepers to prevent fighting from breaking out in other parts of the world.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 7-8, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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