A scant 15 percent of Americans believe the United States and its allies are winning the war to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), a new poll finds
A new Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters found that 15 percent believed the United States was achieving its goal of defeating ISIS, while 42 percent said ISIS was winning.
Another 31 percent said no one particular side held the upper hand, and 13 percent said they were not sure who was winning.
A similar question was posed to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby during his Wednesday briefing.
A reporter asked if he agreed with the assessment of Arizona Sen. John McCain that ISIS "was winning" in Iraq.
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"The situation changes every day, so I am not going to qualify who is winning or who is losing today," said Kirby, visibly struggling to answer the question. He reiterated the Pentagon's contention that the war against ISIS would be a multi-year effort and said the administration's "strategy is still sound."
Whether or not Americans feel the United States is effectively pushing back the advance of ISIS, most are concerned about the threat to the nation's security and support taking military action.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll
conducted Oct. 8-12 found support growing among voters for including ground forces in the overall strategy to defeat the terror group.
While 35 percent said military action should be limited to air strikes, 41 percent said ground troops should be an option. In September, 40 percent backed a limited military campaign and 34 percent were open to using combat troops.
The poll showed that taking on ISIS was the primary issue in the coming elections for 41 percent of Republican voters, but only 18 percent of Democrats shared that view.
Polls, however, continue to show most Americans support taking action against ISIS. A September Gallup survey
found 60 percent approved of U.S. military action.
That level of support is a significant increase from a June Gallup poll
that asked voters about "proposed action" against ISIS. Just 39 percent voiced support for direct U.S. military action in Iraq and 54 were opposed.
Another poll taken in early September by CNN
also found concern about the threat posed by ISIS was growing.
As many as seven in 10 Americans felt ISIS was capable of launching an attack on the homeland, and almost as many (62 percent) favored military action. However, just 38 percent were in favor of using ground forces, compared to 61 percent who were opposed.
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