President Obama faces stiff resistance from the public to a military attack, with a new Pew Research Center poll revealing that 48 percent oppose and only 29 percent approve of U.S. retaliation for Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

“Obama has significant ground to make up in his own party,” added Pew. The percentages mirror the national average, 48 percent opposed to 29 percent in favor. Republicans are more divided: 35 percent favoring airstrikes and 40 percent opposed.

Pew said that its latest survey “finds both broad concern over the possible consequences of military action in Syria and little optimism it will be effective.”

Nearly three quarters of the 1,000 polled believe that U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to create a backlash and 61 percent said it would lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment in the area.

And just 33 percent believe airstrikes will discourage the future use of chemical weapons.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at