10/2: Most Americans Approve of Air Strikes in Syria… Obama Approval Up Overall and in Foreign Policy

76% of Americans approve of U.S. air strikes in Syria against ISIS.  But, if those air strikes fail, Americans divide about whether or not to put U.S. boots on the ground.  Although Republicans are more likely to support military action, including air strikes and sending ground troops to the region, Democrats are more likely to trust the president to work well with allies, avoid a terror attack in the United States, make the right decisions, act quickly, and develop a sound strategy.  Republicans are more inclined to describe ISIS as a major threat to the U.S.  Majorities of Democrats and independents, though, share this view.

President Barack Obama


46% of registered voters nationally approve of the job President Obama is doing in office, up from 40% who held this view in August.  Voters’ impressions of his handling of foreign policy have also improved from 33% in August to 46% now.

Overall, a majority of voters rate the president positively on his handling of the threat of terrorism.  They are divided about his handling of ISIS and Ukraine.

Concern among Americans about a terror attack in the U.S. is at its highest.  But, so is confidence in the government’s ability to prepare and protect communities throughout the nation.  By nearly two to one, Americans believe the country is safer now than it was before the attacks on September 11th, 2001.

Complete October 2, 2014 McClatchy-Marist Poll

“President Obama’s standing among voters has improved, especially in foreign policy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “But, he is walking a fine line between Republicans who support air strikes and want more military action and Democrats who support the president but are fearful of an escalation of U.S. involvement in the region.”

Poll points:

Obama’s Performance Rating Improves

Concern About Terror Attack at Highest Point But So is Confidence in Preparedness

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables