Poll: 69% of Americans Viewed Obamaâ€™s Syria Speech Positively, 61% Favor His Approach
Poll: 69% of Americans Viewed Obamaâ€™s Syria Speech Positively, 61% Favor His Approachby Tommy Christopher | 11:35 am, September 11th, 2013
President Obama has been fighting an uphill battle to win support for an authorization to strike Syria in retaliation for an Aug. 21 Sarin gas attack, but a CNN/ORC poll taken followingTuesday nightâ€™s East Room address shows good news for the Presidentâ€™s Syria policy. In that speech, Obama made the case for the necessity of a limited strike, but also for allowing time to let aburgeoning diplomatic solution play out. CNNâ€™s poll found that 61% of Americans favor â€śthe approach to Syria that Barack Obama described in his speech.â€ť
Additionally, 69% of respondents said they felt â€śvery positiveâ€ť or â€śsomewhat positiveâ€ť about the speech. If you drill down on the poll results, though, it appears that approval for the Presidentâ€™s approach relies heavily on the possible success of the diplomatic solution that suddenly became possible on Monday. From CNN:
The poll indicates that nearly two-thirds of those who watched the speech think that the situation in Syria is likely to be resolved through diplomatic efforts, with 35% disagreeing.
But Obama said that heâ€™s ordered the U.S. military â€śto maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails.â€ť
According to the poll, those who watched the president were divided on whether Obama made a convincing case in his speech for U.S. military action in Syria, with 47% saying he did and 50% saying he didnâ€™t.
Respondents to CNNâ€™s poll came away from the Presidentâ€™s speech marginally more confident in President Obamaâ€™s â€śleadership on military and international issues,â€ť with 32% saying they were â€śmore confident,â€ť versus 16% â€śless confident,â€ť and the majority, 52%, unchanged in their opinion.
Time will tell if the combination of the Presidentâ€™s address, and the added wrinkle of a political solution on the table, will change public opinion that has been against the Presidentâ€™s policies so far, and which has made congressional support for authorizing a strike politically untenable.