Poll: No arms to Syrian rebels, most Americans say

A female Free Syrian Army fighter aiming her weapon, in Aleppo, Syria, June 25, 2013 AP

By a wide margin, voters in both parties believe it is not in America's national interest to intervene in the conflict in Syria, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

Sixty-one percent of voters, including a majority of both parties, say it is not in America's interest to become involved, while only 27 percent disagree. Similarly, 59 percent of voters oppose providing arms and military supplies to Syrian rebel groups, while only 27 percent would support such a move.

By a margin of 49 to 38 percent, however, voters support using drones or cruise missiles - which do not put American lives at risk - to attack Syrian government targets.

In Afghanistan, 63 percent of voters are opposed to negotiations with the Taliban, while 28 percent say America should negotiate. If respondents were told that such negotiations could help end the war, the margin flips to 53 percent in favor of negotiations and 40 percent opposed.

As President Obama grapples with these and other international crises, he does so with his lowest foreign policy approval rating ever recorded by Quinnipiac: Only 40 percent of respondents approve the president's handling of foreign policy, while 52 percent disapprove.

Voters' appraisal of Mr. Obama's economic stewardship is similarly gloomy: By a margin of 55 to 41, voters disapprove of his handling of the economy. Still, 44 percent of voters are inclined to trust the president to fix the economy, while only 38 percent trust congressional Republicans.

Despite more affirmative ratings on honesty and trustworthiness (50-44 percent) and strong leadership (52-46), the president's approval ratings are again underwater in the latest Quinnipiac poll. 44 percent approve, while 48 percent disapprove - both numbers little changed since the end of May.

"President Barack Obama is in a slump, under water for the last two surveys," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Generally, voters don't seem happy with some of the president's policies, but they still give him majority support on his personal characteristics as honesty and leadership."

The poll, based on a survey of 2,014 registered voters nationwide between June 28 and July 8, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percent.

  • Jake Miller

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