Polls: Opposition to Syria strikes on the rise

September 9, 2013

Two new polls shows public opinion is increasingly stacked against the White House's push for military action in Syria, with about six in 10 Americans now opposed.

According to a  CNN/Opinion Research poll, 59 percent of Americans say Congress should vote against even a limited "use of force" resolution -- one that would restrict the window for action to two or three months and prohibit any "boots on the ground."

A USA Today/Pew Research Center poll, meanwhile, shows opposition to the use of force increasing from 48 percent last week to 63 percent today.

In the CNN poll, about seven in 10 say both that military action would not have a significant impact and that it is not in the national interest.


One area in which the White House is succeeding is convincing people that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people. While some in Congress and the international community have expressed a desire for more conclusive proof, eight in 10 Americans say they believe that's a true statement.

The Pew poll shows opposition to military force increasing especially among Republicans. While last week Republicans were pretty evenly split on military action -- 35 percent in favor, 40 percent opposed -- they now oppose military action 70-21.

Opposition also rose significantly among political independents, from 50 percent to 66 percent.

A majority of Democrats remain opposed, though the split is similar to what it was last week.

The new polls echoes other polling from last week that showed Americans more opposed to than supportive of U.S. military action in Syria. A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed people from across the political spectrum are opposed to the idea.

A new Gallup poll shows the many reasons why people are opposed -- with the most popular being that it's not something that concerns the United States.

As of right now, the resolution appears to face an uphill battle in the House, with most members either opposing it or expressing skepticism.

This post has been updated with the Pew numbers. It was originally posted at 8:48 a.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · September 9, 2013