As President Obama begins a big week in which he will continue to make the case for U.S. military intervention in Syria, the latest polling shows a majority of Americans still oppose a Syria strike even though most also believe that the government likely used chemical weapons against its own citizens.
The CNN/ORC poll released Monday finds that about 80% of Americans believe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime gassed Syrians, but roughly 70% said striking Syria was not ultimately in America's national interest. Even if Congress votes to authorize military action, a majority (55%) of Americans would still oppose air strikes, according to the poll.
Those findings match up closely with polls released last week, which found most Americans oppose action.
Perhaps the most interesting split comes between self-identified Democrats and Republicans. A slight majority (56%) of Democrats want Congress to authorize a resolution to strike, but only a little more than a third of Republicans and a little less than a third of independents, agree. If Congress does vote in favor, support becomes roughly even: 51% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans support action at that point.
Members of Congress remain divided--and many undecided--on the issue. The whip count taken by the Hill finds that more Democrats in both the House and Senate support military action over Republicans.
President Obama has launched an aggressive campaign this week to help move the needle on the issue. Monday he speaks with major TV networks, Tuesday he'll head to Capitol Hill to work on members of Congress, and then that evening he will address the nation with a prime time speech to help sway the public.
An analysis of Facebook data conducted by NBC News finds that Syria has been a hot topic for Americans in the last week, but not the most popular. In the week following the president's address on Syria from the Rose Garden, Americans mentioned Syria 6.4 million times in Facebook posts, roughly as often as they referenced pop star Miley Cyrus, but not as often as they talked about football. A Facebook poll by NBC News on Facebook found 7 out of 8 Americans oppose intervention. too.