Surprisingly to me, younger Americans were more likely to recognize Syria, with 53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds correctly identifying the country, 52 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds and only 48 percent of the over-50 crowd.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats to pick out Syria: 55 and 48 percent, respectively.

More education, unsurprisingly, correlated with better performance: Syria was identified by 39 percent of respondents with a high school education or less, by 56 percent with some college and by 61 percent who graduated from college.