President Barack Obama faces “an uphill battle in making the case for U.S. military action in Syria,” the people at the Pew Research Center say, reporting on a poll showing that, by a 48 to 29 percent margin, more Americans oppose than support military airstrikes against Syria.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll finds even stronger opposition to a missile strike, with nearly six in 10 opposed.
The surveys were conducted as the Obama administration was making a public case for retaliation against Syria’s deployment of chemical weapons near Damascus and then the president announced on Saturday that he is seeking congressional approval. That quest is underway today on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
The Aug. 29-Sept. Pew survey of 1,000 adults shows that the president faces a challenge among his own party’s supporters: Just 29 percent of Democrats favor conducting airstrikes against Syria while 48 percent are opposed. Independents oppose action 50-29. Republicans are more divided: 35 percent favoring airstrikes,40 percent opposed.
Three-quarters of those surveyed say U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to create a backlash against the United States and its allies in the region and 61 percent see it as leading to long-term U.S. military commitment there.
At the same time, 53 percent say there is clear evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 3, 2013