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Monday, June 17, 2013

Not Obama’s best day of polling

Talking Points Memo: A new Pew Research poll released Monday finds little public support behind a recent Obama administration decision to provide limited military support to Syrian rebels.

In all, 70 percent of U.S. adults oppose the U.S. and its allies sending arms and military supplies to anti-regime groups in Syria. Twenty percent are in favor of it. These figures represent little change from last December, when 24 percent favored action, and March 2012, when 29 percent were in favor.

The latest Pew poll also found that 68 percent of Americans believe the country is too overcommitted in other issues to get involved in another conflict. Sixty percent expressed skepticism about the Syrian rebels, saying that they may be no better than the current regime. But, respondents agreed by a 53-36 percent margin that it is important for the U.S. to support people who oppose authoritarian regimes—a key part of the argument for why the U.S. should become involved in Syria.

Americans are divided on whether the U.S. has a moral obligation—49 percent agree, 46 percent disagree—to try and stop the bloody violence in Syria.
Or as Josh Marshall put it, the public is out of touch with DC. Like NSA polling, this one defies left/right polarization, with clear majorities of all political affiliations opposing the move.

Still, what are you going to do with opinions like these? People think we’ve got to do something, but not this. So then what? I don’t think the average person knows. I certainly don’t. But escalating the violence doesn’t seem to be a very popular solution.

[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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