Last month, news broke of a chemical weapons attack in Damascus, Syria. An unconfirmed number of men, women and children were killed, setting off an international outcry against the regime of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. Yesterday, President Barack Obama addressed the nation to discuss the possibility of a United States military strike against Syria in response to the attack.
Domestic and international sentiment on Obama’s position towards al-Assad remains divided with strong opinions on whether the use of force by the United States is the appropriate measure to take. With this in mind, we surveyed over 2,000 Americans using SurveyMonkey Audience–a powerful product designed to gather insights from a target demographic–to get their thoughts on President Obama’s speech on Syria.
Here’s what we learned.
Americans’ minds seem set regardless of what the President had to say or not according to these results with an overwhelming 79% saying the speech did not affect their opinions.
Is President Obama’s response to Syria a defining moment in his presidency? The word is still out.
- It’s a tie between those reporting that they’re undecided on this point and those who “slightly agree” that this could be a milestone for Obama (20%).
- Coming in second (18%) are people who agree with this statement a “moderate amount” and taking third place are those who believe strongly.
In comparison to other policy issues, people don’t rank the Syrian conflict as high in terms of importance.
- Nearly a third of Americans (28%) say that Syria is only “slightly important” to them in comparison to other domestic issues such as education, employment, health care, tax reform, etc.
- 27% of people believe that it’s “somewhat important” and a mere 8% rank Syria as “extremely important”.
The United States does not have a moral responsibility to intervene.
- 30% of respondents believe there isn’t a moral obligation to act with military force in Syria.
- Less than 10% of Americans believe strongly that there is a moral reason to go in.
Although a definitive decision has yet to be made, one thing remains clear–Americans, along with the rest of the world, will be paying close attention to the next move of President Obama and Congress.
For more information on SurveyMonkey Audience, please visit our resource page.