Poll: Nearly 80 of Americans Say Congress Needs to OK an Attack

Image: Poll: Nearly 80 of Americans Say Congress Needs to OK an Attack Demonstrators on Aug. 29 protest outside the White House against a possible U.S. strike on Syria.

Friday, 30 Aug 2013 09:55 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Nearly 80 percent of Americans want President Barack Obama to seek approval from Congress before launching a military attack on Syria, according to a new NBC News poll.

Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here

A whopping 79 percent of respondents, including nearly 70 percent of Democrats and 90 percent of Republicans, say Obama should be required to receive authority from Congress before taking any action against the Syrian regime for its suspected use of chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war.

The findings of the two-day poll show that public opinion echoes the sentiment on Capitol Hill, where 140 legislators, including 21 Democrats, have signed a letter saying Obama would violate the Constitution by striking Syria without first getting authorization from Congress.

The NBC survey also found that 50 percent of Americans oppose the United States taking military action, compared with 42 percent who support a military response.

In addition, only 21 percent of respondents think taking action against the Syrian government is in the national interest of the United States, while 33 percent disagree and 45 percent said they don't know enough to have an opinion.

And just 27 percent say that U.S. military action will improve the situation for Syrian civilians, compared to 41 percent who say it won't.

At the same time, the public overwhelmingly disapproves of Obama's handling of the situation in Syria, according to the NBC poll, which found that only 35 percent approve of the president's response.

The NBC survey also showed that Obama's overall job-approval rating has dropped another point since last month to 44 percent, which is tied for his lowest mark in past NBC News/Wall Street Journal surveys.

Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here

The president fared even worse on foreign policy, with just 41 percent of respondents approving of his performance on the issue.

The NBC poll of 700 adults was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.


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