'Huge percentage' of voters who supported US presence in Syria say it should be maintained, GOP pollster says

Republican pollster Ed Goeas said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV's "What America's Thinking" that there is a significant number of voters who not only support a U.S. presence in Syria, but also believe the U.S. should maintain its presence there. 

"What you have to assume from these numbers is that 31 percent never thought we should have had troops there in the first place," Goes, CEO and president of the Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on Wednesday, referring to the findings of a new Hill-HarrisX poll

The new Hill-HarrisX survey found that 35 percent of Americans believe that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not defeated and that the U.S. should maintain troops in Syria. 

Thirty-one percent of those polled said U.S. troops should never have been deployed to Syria. Another 24 percent polled said they believe the terror organization has been defeated but troops are still needed in Syria. Ten percent said ISIS has been defeated and that troops are no longer necessary in the country. 

"What you're really dealing with is what's left of that. The 69 percent that is left … about 15 percent of that 69 percent believes that ISIS is defeated, so now we should bring those troops out," he continued. 

"That still leaves a huge percentage of the people that thought we should be there in the first place, still think we should be there now," he said. "So that's the thing you should be looking at here."

ISIS on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the deaths of a number of U.S. service members in Syria.

Vice President Pence declared the terror group had been defeated, just hours after the attack took place

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE declared late last year that ISIS had been defeated and that U.S. troops would be pulled from Syria.  

— Julia Manchester