During White House Push for Syria War, Public Opposition Surges

During White House Push for Syria War, Public Opposition Surges

For all of last week, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and administration surrogates flooded the public zone with evidence and arguments in support of a unilateral war against Syria. Pew polled the public before the week before the push began and immediately after. The results are potentially disastrous for the president. Public opposition to war with Syria has surged by double digits — from 48% to 63%:

Over just the past week, the share of Americans who oppose U.S. airstrikes in Syria has surged 15 points, from 48% to 63%, as many who were undecided about the issue have turned against military action. By contrast, the share of Americans who support airstrikes remains virtually unchanged: Just 28% favor U.S. military airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that its government used chemical weapons.

The poll breaks down the results by party and finds that only 35% of Democrats are in favor of the airstrikes (56% oppose). A week ago it was 29% – 48%, so nothing much has changed.  Obama, however, is bleeding Republicans and Independents:

Republicans, in particular, have turned against Syrian airstrikes. A week ago, Republicans were divided about evenly: 35% favored and 40% opposed military airstrikes in response to the government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Today, Republicans oppose airstrikes by an overwhelming 70% to 21% margin, with 51% saying they are strongly opposed.

Opposition has grown among independents as well, with two-thirds (66%) now opposed, up from half (50%) last weekend. Today, 50% of independents strongly oppose airstrikes, compared with just 15% who are strongly in favor.

The most discouraging number for the Obama administration should be that, while 35%% believe Obama has given a “clear explanation for air strikes,” still only 28% support the strikes.



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