WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Americans support using diplomacy to remove Syrian chemical weapons but give President Barack Obama low marks on handling the situation, a poll found.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday found 61 percent of those surveyed indicated they oppose American military strikes against the Syrian regime in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons. The figure is unchanged from the strong opposition the president faced when he first argued for military strikes.
About 80 percent said they approve of the initiative by the United States and Russia to compel Syria to give up its chemical weapons, although nearly two-thirds said they were not confident Syria would do so.
Asked if they would favor a congressional resolution authorizing force if the agreement between the United States and Russia does not yield results, 44 percent said they would support it, and 48 said they would not.
Obama's overall approval rating was 47 percent positive, with another 47 percent negative, the split showing a small but continued deterioration in his approval numbers since his inauguration for a second term in January.
His approval rating on international affairs is also 47 percent, the poll said.
The poll was conducted nationally by telephone among a random sample of 1,004 adults. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.