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A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for People & the Press has found that nearly half of Americans oppose U.S. airstrikes on Syria, with 29 percent in favor, and nearly three-quarters believe airstrikes will create a backlash. Some 54 percent of all respondents, and 66 percent of Democrats, said they believe the United States should obtain a U.N. resolution backing airstrikes:
Just 29% of Democrats favor conducting airstrikes against Syria while 48% are opposed. Opinion among independents is similar (29% favor, 50% oppose). Republicans are more divided, with 35% favoring airstrikes and 40% opposed.
The public has long been skeptical of U.S. involvement in Syria, but an April survey found more support than opposition to the idea of a U.S.-led military response if the use of chemical weapons was confirmed. The new survey finds both broad concern over the possible consequences of military action in Syria and little optimism it will be effective.
Three-quarters (74%) believe that U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to create a backlash against the United States and its allies in the region and 61% think it would be likely to lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment there. Meanwhile, just 33%
believe airstrikes are likely to be effective in discouraging the use of chemical weapons; roughly half (51%) think they are not likely to achieve this goal.
There is a huge gender gap. Only 19 percent of women support air strikes, with 49 percent opposed. Thirty-nine percent of men favor strikes while 46 percent oppose them. Thirty-one percent of women had no opinion while only 15 percent of men did. But there were few differences in other demographics. Support and opposition was similar among young and old, and those with and without college. There was slightly more support for air strikes among people who say they have closely followed the news about Syria.
Of the 53 percent of Americans who say there is clear evidence the Syrian government used chemical weapons, 41 percent say the United States should conduct air strikes and 41 percent say it should not.
Large majorities of Republicans (77 percent), independents (77 percent) and Democrats (71 percent) say U.S. airstrikes will likely result in an anti-U.S. backlash in the region. Smaller majorities in the three groups say airstrikes will likely result in a long-term U.S. commitment in Syria.
The survey was conducted of 1,000 adults by telephone Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2013, with 500 respondents interviewed on a landline telephone, and 500 were interviewed on a cell phone (including 263 who had no landline telephone).
Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:16 PM PDT.