WASHINGTON — Only 28% of the public knows that nearly 4,000 Americans have died in the Iraq war, and attention to the conflict has gradually diminished, a survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found.
In the poll released Wednesday, around a third said about 3,000 U.S. troops have died and about one in 10 said 2,000. On the other hand, about a quarter put the figure close to 5,000. The actual number Wednesday was 3,987, according to the independent website icasualties.org.
In previous Pew surveys dating from 2004, about half have correctly given the rough figure for the time.
Iraq was the most avidly followed news story for most of the first half of 2007, but it has not been the most closely watched story in any week since mid-October, according to a Pew survey of news interest.
The portion of news stories that are about the war also has dropped in recent months, according to a study by the nonpartisan Project for Excellence in Journalism.
The Pew poll was conducted Feb. 28 to March 2 and involved telephone interviews with 1,003 adults. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.