Reporting Esme Murphy
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — With the vote in Congress expected sometime next week, members of the Minnesota delegation are getting plenty of feedback. The feedback even amongst Democrats right now is leaning towards against intervening, which puts the President and members of his party, including those from Minnesota, in a very tough spot.
Sen. Al Franken had already flown back to Washington but at his booth at the State Fair, staffers say the issue of Syrian intervention was the No. 1 issue voters wanted to talk about.
While staffers did not want to go on camera, one staffer said most fair goers coming up to the booth are opposed to intervention. At the DFL booth at the State Fair some die-hard Democrats say they are deeply conflicted.
“I am concerned that we intervene militarily at all but it’s a moral disaster if we don’t,” Jay Brunner of White Bear Lake said.
Only one DFLer we talked to was overwhelmingly in support of intervention.
“Hopefully Congress votes yes and the President can move forward,” Anita Clark said.
At the Republican booth, opinion was more clear cut with fair goers saying they want Congress to vote against intervention.
“I feel honestly bad about what is going on over there but the United States is stretched,” Kathy Boenisch, a Shoreview Republican, said. “It is none of our business.”
Nationally, opinion polls taken before the chemical weapons attack showed strong opposition to U.S. intervention. It all makes a very difficult situation for the President as he asks Congress for approval.
“President Obama has an uphill battle,” said Professor Larry Jacobs, of the Humphrey School. “Americans are more opposed to going into Syria than favor it.”
An unscientific poll at WCCO.com this weekend with more than 1,100 people responding found 63 percent in opposition to intervention, 20 percent in favor and 17 percent unsure.
The only member of the Minnesota delegation who seems to be sending a clear signal on how she will vote is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who says she is against intervention.