Writing on Hotline on Call, Hotline editor Chuck Todd articulates the risk that GOP presidential candidates are facing in '08 from what has become an extremely unpopular war:
There are many GOP strategists who worry that if Iraq is still the major issue in '08 and Iraq is still viewed as Bush's war (translation: the GOP's war), it won't matter who either party nominates for president, the GOP will be in an unwinnable situation. The fact is, no matter how unpopular Bush is right now, the GOP desperately needs him to pivot on Iraq and find a way out or the entire party will pay one more time in '08.
An emailer to Josh Marshall claims that "[t]he Iraq War is less popular than gay marriage, legalizing pot, banning handguns, and rescinding the death penalty." It depends, of course, on how you define "popular" and what questions/polls you use. But the larger point is that we may be finally reaching the point where signaling one's "toughness" by taking a hawkish position on Iraq is less important than the actual content of one's position on Iraq.