Majority of American wants U.S. to deploy ground troops to Iraq, Syria

U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment patrol a new ditch they have dug to protect the base from attack on July 19, 2011 in Iskandariya, Babil Province Iraq. As the deadline for the departure of the remaining American forces in Iraq approaches, Iraqi politicians have agreed to meet in two weeks time in order to give a final decision about extending the U.S. troops' presence beyond the end of the 2011 deadline. Violence against foreign troops has recently picked-up with June being the worst month in combat-related deaths for the military in Iraq in more than two years. Currently about 46,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A majority of Americans say the U.S. should send ground troops to Iraq and Syria to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a CNN/ORC survey released Sunday night.

In the poll conducted before the San Bernardino shooting last week, 53 percent said the U.S. should send ground troops to fight ISIS.

The survey, released as President Obama delivered his prime time speech Sunday on terrorism, found 68 percent believe the U.S. military response against ISIS hasn't been aggressive enough.

Two-thirds said they disapprove of Mr. Obama's handling of ISIS and 60 percent said they disapprove of his handling of terrorism in general, up 9 percentage points since May.

On ground troops, 36 percent who said they lean Democratic said the U.S. should deploy ground troops and 69 percent of people who lean Republican said the same.

Fifty-two percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents and 90 percent of Republicans said the U.S. military strategy isn't aggressive enough.

But even though there is a majority of skeptical Democrats, 57 percent of Democrats said things are going well in the fight against ISIS compared to 19 percent of Republicans who said the same.

Eighty-one percent said they believed terrorists associated with ISIS who are capable of launching an attack in the U.S. and 61 percent said it is very or somewhat likely that there would be acts of terrorism in the U.S. over the next several weeks.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress last week that the U.S. is sending additional special operations forces to Iraq and Syria.

The poll surveyed 1,020 adults between November 27 and December 1 with a 3 percentage point margin of error.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.