as greg sargent @ talkingpointsmemo.com demonstrates, once it's gone — it's gone, baby:
as you can see, over the past four months the percentage of respondents who think the us "must win" in iraq for the sake of the broader "war on terror" dropped eight points. meanwhile, the percentage who think victory is not necessary to it has gone up a surprising ten points. this is striking — because in that four months or so since dems took power in january the overriding message that the white house, the gop and all of their lackeys and shills in the media have been blaring at the electorate in every conceivable forum is that (a) victory is absolutely essential in iraq and failure is not an option lest america become less secure; and (b) leaving iraq would constitute a catastrophic defeat in the broader war on terror.
in other words, not only is the central white house/gop message failing to persuade, but fewer people buy it now since the propaganda campaign geared up in earnest, and significantly more people hold the opposite view. the white house and gop are losing the argument, if they haven't completely lost it already — suggesting that on iraq, their once-daunting ability to persuade, something that was jealously eyed by dems after the 2004 losses and has been hailed by the media for far too long since, has been reduced at this point to little more than smoldering wreckage.