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NBC/WSJ poll: Americans oppose intervention in Syria

The most recent NBC News/Wall Street contained plenty of revealing numbers -- on President Obama, the health-care law, immigration, even affirmative action.

But lost in those numbers and headlines is a noteworthy finding: The American public is extremely hesitant to intervene directly in Syria's civil war.

Asked to pick a response to stop the killing of civilians in Syria, just 15 percent in the poll say they favor U.S. military action, and only 11 percent want to provide arms to the opposition.

By comparison, a plurality of respondents -- 42 percent -- prefer to provide only humanitarian assistance, and 24 percent believe the U.S. shouldn't take any action.

Perhaps more significantly, those attitudes cut across party lines and almost all demographic groups.

"Whether you voted for Romney or Obama, they have the same opinion on Syria," said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with the Democratic firm Hart Research.

"It explains the great reticence of the American public," McInturff added.

These numbers come as calls for U.S. intervention in Syria -- after the Syrian opposition's recent losses on the battlefield -- have once again increased.

The New York Times:

So far President Obama has steadfastly resisted even a modest involvement in the conflict, and there was no sign on Monday that a decision to use American force was imminent.

But Hezbollah’s large-scale entry into the fight in recent weeks and the Assad government’s firepower has tilted the battlefield in favor of the Syrian government.

“I think the rebels are in trouble,” said Jeffrey White, a former Middle East analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency who is now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Speed is of the essence. The regime’s momentum needs to be brought to a halt.”

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted May 30 to June 2 of 1,000 adults (including 300 cell phone-only respondents), and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.