A Strike Against Syria Is Getting Drastically Less Popular

A new poll shows a huge spike in the number of Americans from the end of August to last week who oppose a U.S. attack on Syria.

Protesters against U.S. military action in Syria during a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. 
National Journal
Matt Berman
Add to Briefcase
Matt Berman
Sept. 9, 2013, 9:11 a.m.

Nearly two-thirds of Amer­ic­ans are op­posed to a U.S. strike against Syr­ia, ac­cord­ing to a poll out Monday from the Pew Re­search Cen­ter and USA Today. That’s a big dif­fer­ence from polling just a week ago, which showed that 48 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans op­posed a strike.

Here’s the com­par­at­ive break­down from Pew:

And so much for the idea that mat­ters of (sup­posed) na­tion­al se­cur­ity cross par­tis­an lines. The dif­fer­ence over last week is most pro­nounced among Re­pub­lic­ans, with a 30 per­cent jump in the num­ber op­posed:

A ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans (54 per­cent) also now say that the pres­id­ent has not ex­plained his ra­tionale for a strike clearly enough, present­ing Obama with a ser­i­ous chal­lenge when he ad­dresses the na­tion Tues­day night. At the same time, Amer­ic­ans are nearly evenly di­vided on wheth­er or not Syr­ia poses a threat to the United States, with 45 per­cent say­ing it does and 50 per­cent say­ing it does not.

The polling data, while a mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ence from last week, isn’t really sur­pris­ing. George Wash­ing­ton Uni­versity pro­fess­or Sarah Bind­er ad­dressed a lot of these is­sues in a post at The Mon­key Cage last week. On par­tis­an­ship, Bind­er sur­mised that, based on re­search, “war polit­ics in Con­gress might closely re­semble do­mest­ic le­gis­lat­ive battles.” Con­gresses have his­tor­ic­ally broken down by party on for­eign con­flicts, ac­cord­ing to re­search from Wil­li­am G. How­ell and Jon C. Peve­house.

On pub­lic opin­ion, Bind­er points to re­search from MIT’s Adam Ber­insky that shows the in­flu­ence elite opin­ion has on the pub­lic’s view of a war’s mer­its. “When polit­ic­al elites dis­agree as to the wis­dom of in­ter­ven­tion,” Ber­insky writes, “the pub­lic di­vides as well.”

But when elites come to a com­mon in­ter­pret­a­tion of a polit­ic­al real­ity, the pub­lic gives them great lat­it­ude to wage war.

Right now, elite opin­ion is nowhere near a com­mon in­ter­pret­a­tion. And from the looks of the Pew poll and a new poll out from CNN/ORC In­ter­na­tion­al, the pub­lic is a far dis­tance from giv­ing any­one lat­it­ude for any­thing.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4428) }}

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
1 days ago
THE LATEST
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE STAFF
Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Source:
FISHING EXPEDITION
Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."

Source:
WROTE LAW THAT WEAKENED OPIOID OVERSIGHT
Trump: Marino Withdrawing Nomination for Drug Czar
4 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login