Post/ABC Poll: Americans Back Diplomatic Agreement on Syria

Image: Post/ABC Poll: Americans Back Diplomatic Agreement on Syria

Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 09:30 AM

By Melanie Batley

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An overwhelming majority of Americans are in favor of the U.S.-Russia diplomatic deal on Syria's chemical weapons, even though most still doubt that Syrian President Bashar Assad will fully comply, a new poll has found.

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted Sept. 12-15, the public also has a dim view of the way President Barack Obama has handled the U.S. response to the Syrian crisis, although it seems to be split evenly over his overall performance in office.

Roughly four in five of the 1,004 adults surveyed said they back the diplomatic initiative agreed to last Saturday to place Assad's chemical arsenal under international control, although two in three people voiced skepticism that Syria will give up all of its weapons.

While 61 percent of respondents said they are against the U.S. using military strikes in response to Syria's reported use of chemical weapons on its own people, 44 percent said they would support a congressional resolution authorizing force if Syria does not fulfill the terms of the agreement. Forty-eight percent, however, say they would not.

Nevertheless, 47 percent of those surveyed said they think the threat of U.S. military strikes, as outlined in the president's nationally-televised speech last week, helped pressure Syria into agreeing to give up control of its chemical weapons. Another 40 percent, however, said the threat hurt diplomacy.

The poll also showed that 53 percent disapproved of the president's handling of the situation in Syria compared to just 36 percent who approved. Still, the survey found that the American public trusts Obama to handle the Syrian crisis better than Republicans in Congress by a margin of 42 percent to 34 percent.

Overall, the survey found the public to be evenly divided on the president's overall job performance, with 47 percent having a positive view and 47 percent holding a negative view.


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