Americans overwhelmingly prefer that U.S. aerial bombing continue before a possible ground assault is launched on Kuwait, according to separate polls released Friday.

The results of a New York Times-CBS News poll conducted Tuesday and Wednesday indicated that a bloody ground war would significantly reduce public support for the Persian Gulf War.Of 1,060 adults interviewed by telephone, 79 percent said they wanted to continue the air campaign for several weeks. But 71 percent expected a ground war would eventually be necessary.

One-quarter of those polled said the war would not be worth its cost in human life and money. If a bloody ground war with thousands of American deaths ensued, 42 percent said the war would not be worth its cost.

Meanwhile, a telephone poll conducted Thursday for USA Today found that 78 percent of 601 adults polled thought the air war should continue.

In the USA Today poll, 92 percent considered the bombing deaths of civilians in Baghdad "a terrible tragedy" but "unavoidable."