Poll: Most Americans support Obama’s choice of diplomacy over military airstrikes in Syria
In light of all the recent rhetoric from political pundits, the results of THIS poll are somewhat counterintuitive, especially with regard to whether President Obama has shown leadership or weakness in dealing with Syria:
As U.S. and Russian diplomats reached an agreement over the weekend to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, the public expresses support for a diplomatic approach to the crisis but is skeptical about its effectiveness.
By a 67% to 23% margin, the public approves of Barack Obama’s decision to delay military airstrikes and pursue a diplomatic effort to convince Syria to give up its chemical weapons. However, just 26% think Syria will give up control of its chemical weapons, while 57% think it will not…
Roughly half of Americans (49%) oppose the United States conducting military airstrikes against Syria if it does not give up its chemical weapons, while 37% favor airstrikes if Syria does not cede its chemical weapons. A week ago, before President Obama’s Sept. 10 address to the nation in which he asked Congress to postpone a vote authorizing the use of force against Syria, there was more opposition to U.S. airstrikes in Syria (63% opposed, 28% favored).
Overall, more Americans (49%) say that in handling the situation in Syria, Obama has shown leadership and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. Fewer (35%) say he’s shown weakness and inconsistency. Far more Democrats (72%) than Republicans (26%) or independents (46%) say Obama has shown leadership in dealing with Syria.
Democrats also are more likely than Republican or independents to approve of Obama’s decision to delay military airstrikes to pursue diplomatic efforts to persuade Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons. Still, majorities in all three groups – 80% of Democrats, 56% of Republicans and 65% of independents – approve of this approach.