NBC/WSJ poll shows increasing opposition to military action in Syria

posted at 8:01 am on September 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

For some reason, Barack Obama will still address the nation tonight to argue for military strikes few want on a country that doesn’t threaten the US and whose government has already suggested that they will give up the weapons that Obama supposedly will target — after a series of fumbles by the Obama administration created that opening for them.  Should he bother? The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that Obama is not only failing to make his case, but he’s actually creating more opposition, just as Pew discovered yesterday:

President Barack Obama faces a “tall order” in convincing Americans on Syria with nearly 60 percent who say they want their member of Congress to oppose the use of military force there, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

With Obama set to address the nation Tuesday night to advocate U.S. intervention against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, just 24 percent of Americans believe military action in response to Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons is in the United States’ interest.

More ominously for Obama and his allies, opposition to military action only has grown since the president first sought approval from Congress and since the administration began waging an intense campaign to win congressional support. Congress is expected to vote on authorization this week but the timing is uncertain.

The NBC/WSJ poll series has been the most friendly to Obama on this topic.  It produced the outlier result of 50/44 support last month for military strikes against Syria as long as the weapons were limited to ship-based cruise missiles. That has now flipped to 44/51 opposition.  Only 33% want Congress to authorize military action, with 58% opposed — not too far off from the Pew and WaPo/ABC polls.  Furthermore, 59% oppose any action by Obama without Congressional approval, with only 36% supporting.

The crisis has done some damage to Obama, although not in his overall approval rating — at least not yet.  Only 33% believe that Obama has made a case for military intervention, while a majority of 54% say he hasn’t. His approval rating on the handling of the crisis has gone from a poor 35/44 last month to an abysmal 28/57 in this poll.  After three weeks of insisting that attacking Syria is in our national interest, support for that argument has grown only three points, from 21% to 24%, within the margin of error in the polling — but disagreement has risen from 33% to 47%, a huge shift in the wrong direction for Obama.

And this all came before John Kerry fumbled away Western diplomatic leadership to Vladimir Putin, and made the issue of military strikes moot.  If Obama’s argument tonight is, “We have to continue to make empty threats to maintain our credibility!”, well, the White House might get positively nostalgic for these poll numbers by next month.

 


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Should he bother?

Absolutely! The more this bastard talks the worse it gets for him and he’s too lazy and stupid to understand he needs to shut up and pretend to be Presidential for a change.

Yestersday’s “exclusive” interviews were a pathetic joke. I expect more of the same tonight.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 8:05 AM

For some reason, Barack Obama will still address the nation tonight to argue for military strikes few want on a country that doesn’t threaten the US and whose government has already suggested that they will give up the weapons that Obama supposedly will target — after a series of fumbles by the Obama administration created that opening for them.

Left unsaid is the overwhelming consensus that it’s not America’s job to keep Muslims from killing each other.

Cleombrotus on September 10, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Somebody better explain “The Rule of Holes” to the President.

Shovel ready, indeed.

Jabberwock on September 10, 2013 at 8:11 AM

The DOTUS should give his Nobel Peace Prize to Putin.

All hail the new King of the World, Vlad I.

PappyD61 on September 10, 2013 at 8:13 AM

You know, we constantly joke of this Administration for making gaffes all the time, but it never occurred to me that a gaffe would get Obama out of this mess. And it would have been a bad one if he went ahead and bombed Syria after Congress said no. Putin potentially headed off what was likely to be a Constitutional Crisis by responding to Kerry and his off the cuff remarks. Obama is the luckiest man on the planet right now.

Johnnyreb on September 10, 2013 at 8:13 AM

I hope he lectures the American people tonight on how he knows best. People will LOVE that.

gophergirl on September 10, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Politico calls it “Accidental diplomacy”. I kid you not.

patman77 on September 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Don’t forget what day tomorrow is.

Marcus on September 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM

The Breakfast Club: Can the Syria debacle get any worse? Yes, it can.

By James Taranto

A CNN poll out today finds 39% support for the resolution and 59% opposition. (In framing the question, CNN accepts the administration’s representation of the prospective strike’s limits: “The resolution only authorizes military action for 60 to 90 days and it bars the use of U.S. troops in a combat role in Syria.”)

Asked whether the U.S. should strike Syria if the resolution passes, the numbers go up only slightly: 43% support, 55% opposition. As to the claim that Republicans are “a fairly hawkish bunch,” here are the partisan breakdowns for the two questions:

Should Congress pass the resolution?

Democrats 56% yes, 43% no

Republicans 36% yes, 63% no

Independents 29% yes, 67% no

Do you favor striking if the resolution passes?

Democrats 51% yes, 47% no

Republicans 47% yes, 51% no

Independents 36% yes, 61% no

These numbers offer some support for the characterization of Republicans as relatively hawkish, but only to this extent: Whereas at least 11% of Republicans believe that a resolution they oppose should be backed up by action, at least 5% of Democrats believe that a resolution they support should not.

Opposing the resolution are not only majorities of Republicans and independents but also of men and women; liberals, moderates, conservatives; urban, suburban and rural dwellers; and respondents from every geographic region, every income range and every age range. The only group to support the resolution other than Democrats was “non-whites,” 51% to 49%. On the second question–should the U.S. strike Syria if the resolution passes–the drop-off was even greater among nonwhites: 42% to 56%.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Don’t forget what day tomorrow is.

Marcus on September 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Hump day? /

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Dollars to donuts say Obama will use his speech tonight to take credit for Putin’s solution and tell everyone what a great leader he (Obama) has been.

Will Putin call him out for the lie?

petefrt on September 10, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Politico calls it “Accidental diplomacy”. I kid you not.

patman77 on September 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Others are calling it “Diplomacy by gaffe,” the new normal.

Kerry fumbles. Putin pounces. Putin eats Obama’s lunch. Obama says ‘thank you’.

petefrt on September 10, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Spin of the day: “The Russian proposal has only come about” because of the fear of Whimpy-in-Chief.

Marcus on September 10, 2013 at 8:26 AM

gophergirl on September 10, 2013 at 8:15 AM

He almost certainly will. Mr. Colossal Ego just can’t help himself.

His entire repertoire’ for the last five years has only varied from

I am the Smartest Man in the Universe, now STFU and do what I tell you

to

I am GOD. You will OBEY.

When reality intrudes on his fantasy universe, it never gets further than him asking petulantly

Why aren’t you worshiping me?

I suspect he’s reached the limit of how far this kind of attitude can take him, even in a milieu’ as sycophantic, radicalized, and delusional as Washington D.C.

I also suspect he does not realize this, nor would he admit it if he did. Look for more “doubling down” than he’s ever done before, including an announcement that he’s already started the bombing.

He will not submit to what he conceives as the tyranny of lesser beings over himself.

It’s just unfortunate that being a self-centered, narcissistic, delusional idiot is not an impeachable offense.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 10, 2013 at 8:27 AM

And this all came before John Kerry fumbled away Western diplomatic leadership to Vladimir Putin,

You know old John…

He’ll convince you that he scored a touchdown in the bottom of the ninth, just like his hero Manny Ortiz.

Phony doesn’t even begin to describe this oaf.

Did he mention that he served in Vietnam?

turfmann on September 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

I predict a deal with Congress that gets Obama an affirmative vote. Congress will agree to consider a vote for authorization of force if Syria does not comply with certain demands within x amount of time, and the vote will be on a bill outlining this agreement.

NotCoach on September 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Presidenting is hard!

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant politicians.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on September 10, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Putin potentially headed off what was likely to be a Constitutional Crisis by responding to Kerry and his off the cuff remarks. Obama is the luckiest man on the planet right now.

Johnnyreb on September 10, 2013 at 8:13 AM

The fly in the ointment is the fact that Putin is not the sort of man to let an advantage go to waste. He’s seen how weak-kneed and foolish Obama is, and he’ll use that to advance his own interests.

This isn’t over.

AZCoyote on September 10, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Did he mention that he served in Vietnam?

turfmann on September 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Yes, but on whose side did he serve?

RandallinHerndon on September 10, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I predict a deal with Congress that gets Obama an affirmative vote. Congress will agree to consider a vote for authorization of force if Syria does not comply with certain demands within x amount of time, and the vote will be on a bill outlining this agreement.

NotCoach on September 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Well, shame on the GOP if they let him off that easy. Face it, the thin-skinned rat has only been interested in reaching out to Republicans since his own filthy party wasn’t supporting him. Time for good old-fashioned revenge. I want Obama’s face rubbed in his own failure.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Spin of the day: “The Russian proposal has only come about” because of the fear of Whimpy-in-Chief.

Marcus on September 10, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Yeah, Assad heard unbelievably small and immediately called Moscow.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Resetting the Resetters…………caution: drawing red line can be hazardous to one’s health…..or at least confusing.

Yesterday’s Shocker! “The American People want 100% certainty that Assad used chemical weapons on his people and I agree” ~ Ed Schultz

John Kerry says nothing positive can happen between Russia and Syria—-rhetorically speaking.

Over at MSNBC yesterday, Hardball’s Chris Matthews appeared livid that the bombing of Syria might be on hold. Meanwhile, this morning’s Morning Joe crowd is still lobbying for a yes vote from Congress, (on authorizing the strike), so President Obama can regain much of his lost credibility.

From the always profound Bob Woodward: “Clearly they, (Assad and Putin) are up to something”.

Now Breaking! MOSCOW (AP) — Syria said Tuesday it has accepted Russia’s proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly “agreed to the Russian initiative.”

And, to top everything off, Jeb Bush is presenting Hillary Clinton with a Liberty Award

And CNN and HLN are still obsessed with George Zimmerman.

True to form, the White House is portraying the latest improvisation as entirely consistent with a well-crafted strategy Obama has put in place from the start.

All is well—-the scene from Animal House

Rovin on September 10, 2013 at 8:42 AM

I expect more of the same tonight.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 8:05 AM

What is the over/under on him taking credit for this?

RandallinHerndon on September 10, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Don’t forget what day tomorrow is.

Marcus on September 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM

The day Obama’s boys attacked us?

RandallinHerndon on September 10, 2013 at 8:46 AM

From the always profound Bob Woodward: “Clearly they, (Assad and Putin) are up to something”.

LOL. Gee . . . ‘ya think?

I figured they were just Obama fan-boys looking to help ‘lil Sparky out of a jam, ‘cuz they have such big hearts and admire and respect him so very much.

AZCoyote on September 10, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Should Congress pass the resolution?

Democrats 56% yes, 43% no

Republicans 36% yes, 63% no

Independents 29% yes, 67% no

Do you favor striking if the resolution passes?

Democrats 51% yes, 47% no

Republicans 47% yes, 51% no

Independents 36% yes, 61% no

So Communists Democrats are more in favor of bombing Syria WITHOUT Congressional approval? Do I have that about right?

RandallinHerndon on September 10, 2013 at 8:48 AM

NotCoach on September 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Except that Putin, not Obama, has the diplomatic initiative. Captain Kickass may be tempted to do victory laps, but I don’t see the incentive for the House to cheer his kickassery on by trying to leapfrog a Putin-Assad show to which, for the time being, the Members are essentially observers.

Barnestormer on September 10, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Alec Baldwin was all for Preezy Incompetent’s small ‘w’ War…and then he deleted his tweets.

I guess that would be good for his audience of 3.

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM

The fly in the ointment is the fact that Putin is not the sort of man to let an advantage go to waste. He’s seen how weak-kneed and foolish Obama is, and he’ll use that to advance his own interests.

This isn’t over.

AZCoyote on September 10, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Yeah.

Putin will play this advantage for all it’s worth and we get to see that over the next 3 years.

If we elect another incompetent wuss in 2016…it’ll get bad quick.

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 9:24 AM

No he will not argue for a strike. It will be more like, “Let me be clear, it was my intention all along to bring this to an agreeable conclusion. Now, the US finds that an international team being assigned to taking custody of all Syria chemical weapons is what we planned for all along.” “And now my wife and I would like to return you to the further adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye”

jake49 on September 10, 2013 at 9:29 AM

The fly in the ointment is the fact that Putin is not the sort of man to let an advantage go to waste. He’s seen how weak-kneed and foolish Obama is, and he’ll use that to advance his own interests.

This isn’t over.

AZCoyote on September 10, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Nope, not over by a long shot.

petefrt on September 10, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Chris Jansing on Jansing and Company: “Putin proposal that could help President Obama—AND CONGRESS—out of this dilemma.” #hilarious

Rovin on September 10, 2013 at 10:11 AM