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HomePollsPolls Show Why Public Opposes Obama, Democrats on Syrian Refugees

Polls Show Why Public Opposes Obama, Democrats on Syrian Refugees


With Terror Concerns Nearing Post 9/11 Levels, Syrian Refugees are a Deal-Breaker


Barack Obama delivers a statement on the attacks in Paris from the press briefing room on Friday Nov. 13, 2015. (Photo: Pete Souza)

America is the most generous, charitable nation on the face of the earth, but they draw the line on taking in Syrian refugees. Where does public opinion stand exactly and why is it so adamantly against President Obama’s plan to take in thousands of so-called asylum-seekers from Syria? It’s actually pretty straightforward.

The single most important job of any president is to defend the United States and ensure the America people are safe As far as voters are concerned, President Obama has failed and continues to fail miserably at that job. Further, the American people have more common sense than ridged leftwing ideologues like Obama, as well as misplaced bleeding hearts like Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

First, let’s look at where the numbers are and, then, why they are where they are.

In a recent poll–which was conducted in September, before the deadly Paris attacks on Friday–half (49%) of likely voters said no to allowing any and all Syrian refugees to come to the U.S., while only 20% said they would support taking in 10,000, total. In yet another poll, 50% said they were opposed to the idea of allowing 10,000 to come to the U.S. in a poll conducted immediately after the president’s first announcement. Only 36% said they were on board.

It’s fair to say, considering the developments and facts on the ground, those numbers are likely to be worse now and very well could further worsen for Obama and the Democrats. At least one terrorist in the Paris attacks entered the European Union (EU) through Leros, Greece on Oct. 3, “where he was identified [as a ‘refugee’] based on EU rules,” officials told PPD Saturday. The Syrian passport in question was found on one of the dead suicide bombers, who was supposedly not known to French intelligence officials.

On Monday, Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas, sent a letter urging Obama to suspend admission of all alleged Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, the governors of 30 states are either opposed to or have pledged to fight the federal government relocating refugees to their states. The American public backs Chairman McCaul and the governors, and by 59%-29% say they believe the intelligence community over the president and his advisors on these matters. Ben Rhodes, the president’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, said there was a “rigorous” vetting process in place to screen the Syrian refugees.

Americans aren’t buying it.

In fact, according to a new Gallup survey, the number of Americans expressing confidence in the government to protect the nation from future terrorist attacks was at the lowest level ever recorded in the history of this trend question, which began in late 2001. Overall, public concerns about the possibility of future terrorist attacks in the U.S. rose this year by 12 percentage points, up from 39% who expressed “a great deal of concern” in 2014 to 51% in 2015. Now, terrorism has become the third-highest on the list of 15 concerns included in Gallup’s list, coming in behind only healthcare and the economy.

“Worry that oneself or a member of one’s family will be a victim of terrorism” has also increased substantially throughout the year. As of this week, 49% of Americans told Gallup they are “very” or “somewhat worried” about it, the highest rating on this measure since late 2001. Since Gallup began tracking, the number saying they were at least somewhat worried has ranged from 36% to 42% over the past seven years, and was just 39% when President George W. Bush handed over the keys to the Oval Office to Barack Obama.

We also observe a clear and related trend in other tracking surveys polling sentiment regarding the War on Terror. The latest Rasmussen tracking survey released Tuesday found voters remain less confident in their safety here at home than they have ever been, and that was conducted before the Paris attacks. When President Bush left office, despite the unpopular Iraq War, the percentage who thought the U.S. was winning the War on Terror was 24% higher than those who thought the Islamists were winning.

While it is certainly true that the percentage of voters opposing sending U.S. ground troops to deal with ISIS slightly outnumbers the percentage of those who support doing so, it is also true that Obama himself is influencing a significant number of voters. Historically, the role of a peacetime commander-in-chief has been to make the case for an unpopular military action to a reluctant republic willing to go to war only as a last resort.

Listening to the president and the Democrats, one might think that Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt or either Bush were elected by a war-willing public. They weren’t. Obama and the Democrats talk as if he is the first president in history to have the polls against military action. And he isn’t.

They argued and made the case for military action and the public rallied behind them. But because Americans either don’t trust or flat-out disagree with President Obama, who has been insincere on basically all things military and security, they are unwilling to follow his lead as their commander-in-chief.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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