The More People Hear About Attacking Syria, The More They Oppose It
Pew’s survey of public opinion on Syria shows a remarkable increase in opposition to an attack just as the administration launched its effort to sell the idea:
The two most striking things about this result are the speed with which these changes happened, and the fact that Democrats have not really rallied behind Obama on this. It isn’t all that surprising that Democrats are not won over by Obama’s push for attacking Syria, because most of them probably thought that one of the advantages of re-electing Obama was that he would refuse to do this, but partisan loyalty is not working for Obama on Syria nearly as well as it did for Clinton in the late ’90s.
The collapse of support and intensification of opposition among Republicans might be expected when there is a Democratic president in office, but even so the low level of support is remarkable. Just 21% of Republicans support military action against another country, which has to be a record low during the last twenty years. The flight of more independents into the opposition column makes sense, since they are probably least likely to fall in line behind foreign wars fought for dubious goals and typically flee from administrations that appear not to know what they’re doing.