WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. found that 48 percent of Americans are opposed to the United States attacking Syria.
While President Barack Obama has received significant and vocal support from some members of government in his desire to retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people, the American people reportedly do not feel the same way.
In a summary of the poll’s findings, it was noted by Pew researchers that only 29 percent of Americans are in favor of air strikes against the regime. The other 23 percent were said to be unsure of the best course of action.
“President Obama faces an uphill battle in making the case for U.S. military action in Syria,” the release notes. “By a 48 percent to 29 percent margin, more Americans oppose than support conducting military airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.”
The release added that Democrats were divided in exactly the same way as the nation overall. Independents, however, were divided along slightly different lines. While 29 percent were still in favor of an attack, the same amount as Democrats and Americans overall, exactly 50 percent were opposed.
Republicans were slightly more supportive, as Pew researchers noted, “with 35 percent favoring airstrikes and 40 percent opposed.”
The Obama administration says it has proof that Assad’s regime used the deadly chemical weapons in an attack on Damascus suburbs and must respond. It places the number killed at 1,429 people, including 426 children. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll at 502.
House Speaker John Boehner says he will support Obama’s call for the U.S. to take action against Syria, and says his Republican colleagues should support the president, too. The Ohio Republican says the use of chemical weapons must be responded to, and that only the United States has the capability and the capacity to stop Assad and warn others around the world that such actions will not be tolerated.
The leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, said the public needs to hear more of the intelligence that led the Obama administration to their conclusion, but that his reported actions were, in her words, “behavior outside the circle of civilized human behavior and we must respond.”
The survey was conducted between Aug. 29 and Sept. 1 of this year.
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