POLL: Americans Believe Assad Used Chemical Weapons, Still Don’t Support Military Action

Obama Biden Syria

A CNN/ORC Poll released Monday shows overwhelming opposition to a U.S. military strike against the Syrian regime. According to poll results, although 8 in 10 Americans believe Syrian president Bashar al-Assad did in fact use chemical weapons against his own people, 59 percent are opposed to congressional authorization for U.S. military intervention in the region.

This CNN/ORC poll demonstrates that the administration has failed to persuade Americans that military intervention is necessary, but the attempt to convince Americans that al-Assad is responsible for using chemical weapons against Syrian citizens has been successful.

This week, President Obama will be making a final push to garner additional support before the resolution goes to a Senate vote, as early as Wednesday. He will be making multiple appearances on major networks — beginning with a Monday afternoon interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer — and will visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with members of Congress before his address to the nation on Tuesday evening.

The American public will be the most difficult group to convince. According to poll numbers, 72 percent believe air strikes against Syria would not achieve any significant goals for the U.S. and 69 percent do not find an attack to be in the national interest of the U.S.

“Congressional approval would help Obama a little, but a majority would still oppose airstrikes against military targets in Syria. If Congress authorizes military action, 55 percent of Americans would still oppose airstrikes,” CNN polling director Keating Holland said. Seventy-one percent would oppose military action if Congress does not pass a resolution to authorize the strike.

In 2001, 86 percent of Americans surveyed by CNN supported sending a military response to Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In 2011, 56 percent of Americans were in favor of creating a no-fly zone over Libya. But today, a war-fatigued public is wary of signing on for military engagement with Syria.

AFP Photo/Jim Watson

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