In Wake of Syria Withdrawal, Americans Disapprove of How Donald Trump Handles Foreign Policy: Poll

More voters disapprove than approve of President Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy, a new survey from HuffPost and YouGov has found.

These results come in the wake of a raft of criticism from Democrats and some of the president's closest allies about his handling of the standoff in Syria, where a withdrawal of American troops has apparently encouraged Turkish forces to lay siege to the vulnerable Kurdish population.

Thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults "strongly" disapprove and 12 percent "somewhat" disapprove of the president's foreign policy decisions, compared with just 37 percent, in total, of U.S. adults who do approve. Around 14 percent are not sure what to make of Trump's approach.

These sentiments break down largely on party lines. An overwhelming majority—at 85 percent—of Democrats believe that Trump is handling foreign policy poorly, while 86 percent of Republicans think he is conducting foreign policy well. Independents appear to be driving the polls against the president, where the number who disapprove of the president's approach outweighs the number who approve by nine points.

While survey questions about Syria specifically track alongside attitudes about foreign policy, Americans are more evenly split about the right approach towards Syria. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults believe the country has a responsibility to do something about the current quagmire. Thirty-one percent feel that the country bears no responsibility, and another third is not sure.

Democrats are more likely to feel that the U.S. ought to intervene in the region, while Republicans, on the whole, do not feel that America has any responsibility to rectify the situation. Overall, men were nine points more likely than women to say that the U.S. has a responsibility towards the region.

President Donald Trump Departs White House South Carolina
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media prior to his departure from the South Lawn of the White House October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty

The HuffPost poll is not the only measurement of broad dissatisfaction with the president's decision. A CNN poll from this week found that half the country disapproved of the withdrawal of troops from the region, larger than the share who approved. And another poll from Morning Consult reflects the same trend: more Americans disapprove than approve of the decision to remove troops from the region, which left America's Kurdish allies vulnerable to attack.

After the unexpected, bipartisan backlash to Trump's withdrawal decision, the administration appears to have reversed course, indicating it may leave a few hundred troops in northeast Syria and possibly send dozens of tanks to secure oilfields from a potential ISIS incursion.

As the events are rapidly unfolding and the administration appears to be shifting its approach more regularly, Americans indicated in the HuffPost survey that they are generally paying attention to the news as it develops.

Fifty-eight percent of U.S. adults say they are following the news about Syria closely, while just 42 percent say otherwise. This holds true among both Republicans and Democrats. Over 60 percent of both parties are following the news around Syria closely, according to the poll.

The HuffPost survey was conducted on October 16 and 17 and has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

In Wake of Syria Withdrawal, Americans Disapprove of How Donald Trump Handles Foreign Policy: Poll | Politics