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Alabama poll: War not worth lost lives

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — A majority of Alabama residents questioned in a recent poll say the war in Iraq is not worth the loss of life and the amount of money it has cost.

The poll is in contrast to surveys three years ago, when most respondents said they supported the war, The Birmingham News said in a story on the poll Saturday.

The statewide telephone poll of 563 registered voters was conducted May 2-3 and May 7-9 by the Capital Survey Research Center, the polling arm of the Alabama Education Association. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Overall, 61 percent of those in the survey said they thought Alabama was on the right track, but only 33 percent said the same about the nation. When asked to list the most important issue facing the country, the largest portion — 38 percent — said war.

Karl Chesser of Woodstock expressed the sentiment concerning the war of some respondents to the poll.

"We ain't accomplishing nothing," the 42-year-old USX employee said last week. "So why are we over there?"

While the survey shows overwhelming support for the way the United States military is waging the war in Iraq, it shows President Bush no longer has a majority of Alabama voters backing him on Iraq. Overall, 44 percent said they approved of Bush's handling of the conflict. In a 2004 poll, taken during the war's second year, 54 percent of the surveyed voters backed the president.

In the latest survey, 53 percent said they disapproved of the president's war management, and 58 percent said the United States was not winning in Iraq.

Nearly half of the surveyed voters said the United States should get the troops out now or within 12 months.

About 28 percent said the troops should leave only after the war is won, and 13 percent said more troops should be sent to Iraq.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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