Support for the use of military force to remove President Saddam Hussein from power dropped from 64 percent in mid-November 2002 to 57 percent in mid-January 2003. During the same time period, opposition to the use of military power rose from 29 percent to 41 percent.

The Post-ABC News poll also found:

  • 58 percent of respondents said they would like for the United States to show more evidence for why military force should be used to remove the Iraqi leader.
  • 71 percent said the United States should present its own evidence of weapons of mass destruction if U.N. inspectors cannot find hard evidence.
  • 55 percent said the Bush administration was moving too quickly to take military action.
  • 50 percent said the United States should work more on diplomacy with Iraq.

The Post reported that “seven in 10 Americans would give U.N. weapons inspectors months more to pursue their arms search in Iraq.”

The Post-ABC poll conducted telephone interviews with 1,133 randomly selected adults from Jan. 16-20.

A Newsweek poll of 1,002 adults taken Jan. 16-17 found that 60 percent of Americans said the Bush administration needs “to take more time to achieve U.S. goals in Iraq without using military force.” Thirty-five percent favored a quick use of military force.

With major allies and the backing of the U.N. Security Council, 81 percent of Americans supported U.S. military action, Newsweek reported. Without U.N. support and with only one or two allies, only 39 percent supported a U.S. war with Iraq.

A Pew Research Center survey of 1,218 Americans taken Jan. 8-12 found that 53 percent think Bush has not made the case for war with Iraq, compared to 42 percent who think that he has.

Only 43 percent of responds favored war if it results in thousands of U.S. casualties, while 48 percent oppose the use of force, Pew reported. Support for war dropped to 21 percent if casualties were heavy and the effort lacked allied involvement.

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