Support for Military Intervention in Syria Surges

MPO Research Group asked Americans what they think should be done about the conflict in Syria and found a new surge in support for military intervention when compared to opinion in May.

Washington, DC, September 21, 2012 --( In a recent survey, MPO Research Group finds that support for U.S. military intervention in Syria has surged, with half of all Americans believing this to be the best course of action. The next most popular option, with 20.7% in favor, is diplomatic and economic sanctions to pressure the Syrian government. 13.2% of Americans support the option of military intervention with U.N. authorization, 11.3% recommend letting Syria resolve the problem itself and 4.1% of respondents have no opinion.

This marks a dramatic shift from opinion just two months ago, when U.S. military intervention was the least supported option (12.4%). In a survey from June, MPO Research Group found that using diplomatic and economic sanctions on Syria, with no military intervention, was the most popular solution (31.2%), followed closely by U.N. authorized military intervention (28.7%). The option of doing nothing and allowing Syria to resolve the issue themselves was supported by 19% of respondents.

Political Affiliation

Opinion on Syria is divided among political affiliations. 79.5% of Democrats prefer the option of U.S. military intervention to stop the crisis, compared to 18% of Republicans. The most popular choice among Republicans was to use economic and diplomatic sanctions, a proposition supported by only 8.6% of Democrats.

Both of these options are popular with Independents—46.4% support American military intervention and 25.9% support using economic and diplomatic sanctions.

The option of intervention only with U.N. authorization is fairly unpopular with both Democrats (7.7%) and Independents (10.2%), though is the second most favored option among Republicans (23.6%). Conversely, doing nothing is extremely unpopular among Democrats (1.4%) though moderately supported by Republicans (19.7%) and Independents (15.1%).


All ethnic groups displayed the most preference for the option of American military intervention in Syria—63.8% of African Americans, 50.5% of Caucasians, 39.5% of Hispanic Americans and 38.5% of Asian Americans support this option.

The option of intervention only with U.N. support was only mildly popular among African Americans (15.5%), Caucasians (13%) and Hispanics (10.5%) and was the least popular choice among Asian Americans (7.7%).

Applying economic and diplomatic sanctions is moderately popular among all groups. 28.9% of Hispanics, 23.1% of Asian Americans, 20.4% of Caucasians and 15.5% of African American support this action.

Asian American reflected the most support of leaving Syria alone—23.1% chose this option, compared to 12.1% of Caucasians, 10.5% of Hispanics and 1.7% of African Americans.

This survey was based on two polls: one of 474 participants in June 2012. The margin of error is 4.5% and at a 95% confidence level, and one of 608 respondents in August 2012, with a margin of error of 3.97% and at a 95% confidence level.

MPO Research Group was started by university professors to provide data for their own research, but has expanded to offer a cost-effective surveying service to other academics and professionals. The surveys are conducted from a national panel of over 5,000 randomly selected individuals in the United States, accurately reflecting all backgrounds in terms of age, education, ethnicity, gender and political affiliation. The group is completely self-funded, independent and non-partisan. Its news stories also make efforts to present information in an unbiased and non-partisan way, so readers can understand issues without any spin.
MPO Research Group
Babak Bahador
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