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Poll: Americans, 4 to 1, want war with ISIS

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Polls,Syria,Bashar Assad,ISIS

As he waffles on U.S. policy toward terrorists in Syria dubbed ISIS, President Obama is being handed rare American support for a military attack against the terrorists, according to a new poll.

In its latest survey, YouGov.com finds that the nation has done a 180 in just a year, and now supports military action by nearly four to one.

Some 63 percent of Americans back a Pentagon strike against the terrorists to 16 percent who don’t. A year ago, those numbers were reversed when Americans were asked about striking Syrian troops commanded by President Bashar Assad, with 60 percent opposing military action and 20 percent supporting it.

The flip-flop comes as television news is filled with stories of horrific murders of those captured by ISIS, and reports of American airstrikes against the militants.

It also comes as Obama fights with his national security team and Hill Democrats calling for action. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, today backed military action while on "Meet the Press."

The YouGov poll revealed a rare change of heart for Americans, many war-weary with the U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What’s more, the support for military action was spread among political opposites. Some 60 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans support military action against the terrorists.

Said the poll analysis:

The latest research from YouGov shows that attitudes towards the use of military force in Syria have changed significantly over the past year. In September 2013, when a deal to disarm Syria's chemical weapons was agreed, 62% of Americans opposed the use of military force while only 20% supported it. Today when asked whether they support the use of military force against ISIS militants in Syria, the situation is reversed. 63% of Americans now support the use of military force in Syria, compared to only 16% who oppose it...

Support for military action has increased significantly despite the fact that expectations of deeper US involvement remain the same. In research conducted at the beginning of September 2013 when the US was considering launching air strikes against Syria, 45% of Americans said that strikes would be the first step towards having US troops in Syria. 31% expected any potential campaign to be limited to air strikes. Today Americans still tend to expect any air strikes in Syria to lead to a US military presence, with 40% saying it would be a first step and 31% saying that action would be limited to air strikes.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.