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Poll finds public opposed to U.S. intervention in Syria
An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Red Sea on Sept. 3. | U.S. Navy-AP Photo
A new poll from Pew Research shows the public does not support the possibility of U.S. military action in Syria in light of chemical weapon attacks two weeks ago. 48 percent of those polled oppose airstrikes, while just 29 percent support them. 23 percent are not sure.
These numbers stand in contrast to the 53 percent who believe there is clear evidence the al-Assad government used chemical weapons. Even these people are evenly divided on airstrikes at 41 percent either way.
President Obama and Congress have their work cut out for them at this point: only 32 percent of Americans think the president has clearly explained the case for U.S. intervention. Just 42 percent of those who think the case has been explained clearly support intervention.
The poll also found Americans largely believe any airstrikes would have negative consequences. 74 percent think an attack would create a backlash against the U.S. in the region, 61 percent think airstrikes would lead to a longer term military efforts in Syria, and a full 51 percent believe an attack would not be effective in discouraging the future use of chemical weapons.
This news comes just days after an NBC poll found nearly 80 percent of Americans want the president to put any possible strike to a vote in Congress, an action the president obliged with his announcement on Saturday.