Poll: Majority Against Admitting Syrian Refugees, For Sending Ground Troops to Fight ISIS

Sam Dorman | November 20, 2015 | 5:39pm EST
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Syrian refugees. (AP photo)

A majority of Americans oppose President Obama’s decision to admit more Syrian refugees into the United States, according to a recent NBC News online poll of 5,755 adults aged 18 and over conducted by SurveyMonkey.  

However, two-thirds (65 percent) also support sending more ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria, with an even larger majority (70 percent) of Americans saying they believe ISIS is winning its battle against the U.S. and its allies.

The poll, which was conducted between Nov. 15th and 17th, asked: “In order to help deal with the large numbers of migrants fleeing violence in Syria and other countries and entering Europe, the United States recently announced it will increase the number of refugees it accepts. All in all, do you approve or disapprove of this decision?”

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they disapproved of admitting more Syrian refugees, with 38 percent saying they “strongly disapprove” and 18 percent saying they “somewhat disapprove.”

Less than half - 41 percent - expressed approval of the policy, with 18 percent saying they "strongly approve’"and  23 percent saying they "somewhat approve" of Obama's decision.

The poll also asked Americans: “Would you support or oppose the United States sending additional ground troops to fight ISIS (Islamic militants) in Iraq and Syria?”

Of the 65 percent of respondents who said they supported military intervention, 33 percent said they would "strongly support’" military action, while 32 percent said they would "somewhat support" it.

Just 13 percent said they would "strongly oppose" sending more ground troops to fight ISIS, while 18 percent said they would "somewhat oppose’" sending U.S. troops to Syria.

The NBC News poll also asked Americans about how they viewed using military force to fight terrorism. Fifty-eight percent agreed that "using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism," while 38 percent said that "relying too much on military force creates hatred that leads to more terrorism."

Americans were also asked about their evaluation of the U.S. government’s response to terrorism. The poll asked: “In general, how well do you think the U.S. government is doing in reducing the threat of terrorism?”

Only nine percent said the U.S. government was doing "very well" to reduce the threat of terrorism, while 36 percent of the respondents replied "somewhat well."

However, a majority of Americans (53 percent) said they thought the government was not doing well in reducing the threat of terrorism.

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