Public support for U.S. intervention in Syria is lower than popular approval in the lead-up to any military action in the last 20 years, according to a new poll.
Gallup found that only 36 percent of people support taking military action in Syria after the U.S. found that President Bashar Assad’s regime used chemical weapons on its own people.
A battery of polls this week has found similar numbers of people opposing intervention. A Washington Post/ABC News poll this week found 59 percent opposed it, while a Pew survey found 48 percent disapproved.
Gallup compiled approval ratings from other military conflicts going back to intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Ahead of that announcement, 43 percent of people approved of U.S. involvement. The other thee wars, in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, enjoyed strong majority support before taking place.
The Afghanistan War, started shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attack, held the most support, with 82 percent of people approving prior to the start of military action.
President Obama largely ran for president on the idea of ending that war, and the one in Iraq.
Obama has acknowledged the difficulty in convincing a war-weary public about intervention in Syria. He announced Friday that he will make a major address on the subject next Tuesday.
"For the American people, who have been through over a decade of war now with enormous sacrifice in blood and treasure, any hint of further military entanglements in the Middle East are going to be viewed with suspicion," Obama said during a press conference Friday.
Democrats are the most likely to support intervention, with 45 percent approving. Support among Republicans and independents dips to 31 percent and 34 percent, respectively.
The Gallup poll noted public support tends to spike after the U.S. takes military action, known as the “rally effect.”
Members of Congress who support Syrian intervention have already been making that point.
“You look even back as far as I think Bosnia, and the American people did not support strikes on Bosnia and in Kosovo,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of the few House Republicans to publically support the plan.
“But in hindsight, we see that those strikes actually are very popular nowadays, accomplished a lot,” he added on MSNBC.
The Gallup poll was conducted Sept. 3-4 on 1,021 national adults and holds a margin of error of 4 percent. The survey asked if respondents approved of military action in order to reduce Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons.