However, neither poll is spreading sunshine and lemon drops.
Americans generally approve of President Bush’s handling of the current Mideast crisis, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll, but six in 10 say the president is not respected by foreign leaders.
More than 60 percent think the conflict [in Lebanon] will lead to a larger war in the region, and a similar number doubt Israel and the Arab states will ever be able to live in peace.
Pessimism about the Mideast extends to U.S. efforts in Iraq. Just 27 percent of Americans — the lowest number to date — now believe the United States is winning the war, compared with 13 percent who say the Iraqi resistance is winning and 58 percent who call it a stalemate.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans said the war was going badly, including 27 percent who said it’s going very badly.
While a majority of Americans, 58 percent, still believe success in Iraq is at least somewhat likely, 53 percent think Iraq will never become a stable democracy, up 10 points from last month.
Forty-one percent said the U.S. presence in Iraq is making the region less stable, nearly double the number in March. Twenty-five percent said the U.S. presence in Iraq was making the region more stable.
Sixty-nine percent also said the U.S. presence in Iraq is hindering U.S. diplomatic efforts elsewhere in the Mideast. Nearly three in four said the war in Iraq has worsened America’s image in the world.
With congressional midterm elections less than four months away, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that candidates will be facing a public that has grown increasingly pessimistic, as nearly two-thirds don’t believe life for their children’s generation will be better than it has been for them, and nearly 60 percent are doubtful the Iraq war will come to a successful conclusion.
And there’s more pessimism: Among those who believe the nation is headed on the wrong track, more than 80 percent say it’s part of a longer-term decline.