The 2016 Chicago Council Survey, conducted June 10-27, reveals that Americans across partisan lines support the Obama Administration’s current approach: limited military action that combines airstrikes and Special Operations Forces. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have starkly contrasting positions on acceptance of Syrian refugees into the United States, reflected in a partisan divide among the public in the Council’s survey. The data also reveal overall American skepticism toward arming anti-government groups and US efforts to negotiate a deal that would leave President Assad in power. Specific findings include:
Limited military missions: The 2016 Chicago Council Survey shows that seven in ten Americans (72%), including a majority across the political spectrum, support airstrikes against violent Islamic extremist groups in Syria. In addition, an overall majority support deployment of Special Operations forces (57%) as well as enforcing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria (52%).
Syrian refugees: Acceptance of Syrian refugees into the United States reveals a stark partisan divide that has widened since 2014 – a mere 18 percent of Republicans are in favor (down from 27% in 2014) compared to over half of Democrats (56%).
Rejection of Assad and Anti-Government Forces: Americans are wary of arming anti-government forces, regardless of partisan leanings. Overall, a quarter of the US public (26%) supports arming rebel forces. Only a third overall favor US efforts to negotiate a peace deal that would leave Bashar al-Assad in power.