“Guess Why”: Republicans Supported Attacking Syria, Now They Don’t


For decades, Republicans have been more supportive than Democrats of an interventionist foreign policy. Surveys conducted earlier this year showed that Republicans were consistently more likely than Democrats to support striking Syria if Assad used chemical weapons. But partisanship is powerful in the age of President Obama, powerful enough to overcome longstanding partisan preferences on international affairs. A new poll shows that the president can’t count on the traditional coalition for the use of force abroad.

This morning, NBC News released a survey showing that only 42 percent supported striking Syria, with 50 percent opposed. Those numbers flip when the question specified that the US would rely on airstrikes and stand-off range weapons, like cruise missiles. Then, 50 percent were on board. That probably means the president doesn’t have to worry too much about public support in determining whether and how to strike Syria.

But even narrow support for strikes…

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