Sunday, September 8, 2013

The House is likely to reject the administration's request on Syria

It now seems likely that the Obama Administration's drive to obtain Congressional support for direct military action in Syria will fail in the House of  Representatives. Here is what the latest count looks like based on the Washington Post's analysis.

Source: The Washington Post

Among the undecided congressmen the key concern seems to be the support of the international community. And while the condemnation of Syria's use of chemical weapons seems to be broad, only a handful of nations would potentially be willing to participate in the "coalition".  With the UK out of the picture, European politicians are unwilling to lose domestic votes by militarily supporting strikes against Syria.

The undecided group will therefore rely more on voter sentiment. And unlike in previous military engagements, the US voters are reluctant to support the President on this issue.

This group of congressmen is clearly also tracking voter support for the president in general and the associated risks of siding with the Obama administration on this. The vote is especially important to many in the House given the upcoming midterm elections. And the president's approval ratings have been consistently declining lately. From a purely political perspective there is now more downside to voting "yes". That meas we should see a sufficiently large portion of the undecided group voting against this proposal to reject US military action in Syria.

Source: Gallup
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