Gallup: 51% Oppose U.S. Intervention in Syria

By Susan Jones | September 9, 2013 | 6:13 AM EDT

President Barack arrives on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

( - A Gallup Poll conducted Sept. 3-4 found that more than half of Americans (51 percent) are more likely to oppose than favor (36 percent) U.S. military action against Syria.

Based on its poll, Gallup concluded that President Obama "has a tough challenge in front of him as he works to convince Americans and their elected representatives in Congress over the next several days that military action against Syria is justified."

Gallup also said its survey results suggest that President Obama needs to address Americans' concerns that the conflict is not the nation's business; that the U.S. cannot afford to get involved in another war right now; and that the proposed military response has been not been well thought out and planned.

Gallup asked respondents why they oppose or favor U.S. military action in Syria.

Of those opposed, most (24 percent) said it's Syria's civil war and the U.S. should mind its own business. Other reasons given by opponents: The U.S. doesn't need to get involved in yet another war, and the U.S. should stop policing the world.

Ten percent said U.S. intervention wouldn't work, and wasn't well planned. And ten percent said the nation is in debt and we don't need to add to it by launching a military strike. Eight percent said their were worried about retaliation.

Of those who support Obama's call for a military strike on Syria, 26 percent said it would prevent such a thing from happening again; 25 percent said they wanted to stop the Syrian government from killing its own people; 17 percent said chemical weapons should never be used; and 11 percent said U.S. action is needed to protect American interests and keep Americans safe.

The implication, according to Gallup: "Americans' skepticism does not appear to arise so much from a lack of awareness that the Syrians may have used chemical weapons -- although a small percentage say they don't believe the U.S. has enough information on that front. Instead, their opposition is based more on the idea that the U.S. should not expend money and resources to intervene, regardless of what the situation is in Syria."

The poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 3-4, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,021 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.