Syria splits Democrats

September 09, 2013, 10:03 AM GMT+0

Democrats are increasingly supportive of a strike against Syria, but most of the public are still opposed.

Congress will soon vote on whether or not to authorize President Obama to take military action against the Syrian government, with the potential for the first significant vote on the issue on Wednesday. The leadership of both parties has endorsed the President's plan for a campaign of airstrikes against the Syrian government, but speculation is increasing that significant numbers of Congressmen may vote against authorization. The President is to make a public address on Tuesday night to rally support for military intervention.

The latest research from YouGov shows that opposition to military action is still much larger than support for it. 57% of Americans oppose an attack on Syria, while 29% support one.

Since June*, however, support has increased 11%, from 18% to 29%. This is almost entirely a result of changing attitudes among Democrats, among whom 42% now support military action compared to 43% who oppose it. In June, 19% of Democrats supported taking military action and 49% opposed it. 

The June 2013 question asked 'Thinking about the conflict in Syria, would you support aiding the Syrian rebels and launching US airstrikes against Syrian government targets?', which is different from the September 2013 question which asked 'Do you support or oppose the use of military force against Syria?'

Republicans tend to oppose their party leadership's decision to back the President's proposal for military action, with 23% agreeing and 58% disagreeing. Democrats are more supportive of their leadership, with 52% supporting the decision to back military action and 34% opposing it.

When asked whether most Americans support or oppose military action in Syria, people generally answer correctly, with 67% saying that Americans are largely opposed to the push for military action in the country. 

Full results can be found here.

Image: Getty.