Politics
5:32 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

High Point University Poll: North Carolinians Don't See Syria as a U.S. Responsibility

President Obama called on U.N. Security Council members Tuesday to approve a resolution that would mandate consequences for Syria if it fails to cooperate with a plan to turn its chemical weapons stockpiles over to the international community. A recent High Point University poll shows that people are wary at this time of costly intervention in Syria whether military or otherwise.

Staff and students at the High Point University Survey Research Center recently conducted a survey in N.C. about the situation in Syria. They also conducted a similar survey on the issue within the past year.
Staff and students at the High Point University Survey Research Center recently conducted a survey in N.C. about the situation in Syria. They also conducted a similar survey on the issue within the past year.
Credit High Point University

In light of the situation in Syria over the past several months, researchers at High Point University have been conducting surveys to gather public input on the issue. The recent HPU poll conducted September 8-12 sampled 408 cell phone and landline users throughout all counties in North Carolina.

Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science and director of the High Point University Survey Research Center, says one of the things that got his attention:

“People said they had heard and seen more about the conflict in Syria now than they had a year ago, but a lot of their attitudes weren’t changed as much at all. More than 60 percent said there wasn't a responsibility for the U.S. to do something in Syria and that was exactly the same from spring 2012 to today,” says Kifer.

Kifer says other aspects of the survey talk about broader foreign policy attitudes. For example, 83 percent of people said the U.S. is in a more dangerous world now than in the past. He says most of the respondents say they are also dissatisfied with the U.S. role in the world right now.

“Throughout this survey we did ask about Syria, but we also asked about attitudes towards government officials, the economy, and how people feel about their personal finances and some other things. We saw a relatively pessimistic attitude in people about how things are going. I think that talking about the relative danger that people see in the world and the negative outlook that people feel about their finances speaks to the general anxiety that people may be feeling, at least at this moment,” says Kifer.

Kifer says the HPU Survey Research Center is also planning to conduct a survey about what kinds of actions North Carolinians do support in the national arena.