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July 15th, 2008
07:03 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Issue Iraq - voters are split...

Morning folks...

Barack Obama is poised to take the stage this morning to give what his campaign is touting as a "major speech on Iraq, Afghanistan, and America’s national security" ...This as news comes that two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowd of army recruits Tuesday in a former al-Qaeda stronghold northeast of Baghdad, killing at least 28 people. The blast at the Saad military camp in Baqouba, 35 miles from Baghdad, also wounded at least 47 recruits... Obama's speech also comes as a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the country split down the middle between those backing Sen. Barack Obama's 16-month timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and those agreeing with Sen. John McCain's position that events, not timetables, should dictate when forces come home...Obama's speech is an effort to convince voters that he could serve effectively as commander in chief. According the new poll, the public is also evenly divided on that question, with 48 percent saying he would be an effective leader of the military and 48 percent saying he would not.

On Iraq policy in general, Americans continue to side with Obama and McCain, his Republican rival, in roughly equal numbers, with 47 percent of those polled saying they trust McCain more to handle the war, and 45 percent having more faith in Obama. The poll results suggest that months of Democratic attacks on McCain's Iraq position have not dented voters' basic trust in his ability to lead the country's armed forces: Seventy-two percent said McCain would make a good commander in chief.

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