A Gallup Poll shows that 48 percent of the public approves of President Nixon’s policy in Vietnam, while 41 percent disapprove. In January, Nixon had a 65 percent approval rating. The drop reflected the growing dissatisfaction with Nixon’s failure to end the war in Vietnam. He had been elected in 1968 largely because he claimed to have a plan to end the war, but after three months in office, there was still no announcement about when the plan would be enacted. His approval rating further plummeted later in April, when he announced that U.S. and South Vietnamese forces had crossed the border into Cambodia. This announcement set off a wave of antiwar demonstrations, including one at Kent State University that resulted in the killing of four students by Army National Guard troops. The “Cambodian incursion,” as it came to be called, angered many in Congress, who felt that Nixon was illegally widening the war; this resulted in a series of congressional resolutions and legislative initiatives to severely limit the executive power of the president.
Posted in Vietnam War.