"Bringing Congress into the equation seems to have added a political dimension to the Syria debate," Holland said. "Once Congress makes up its mind, however, the gap between Democrats and Republicans nearly vanishes."
If Congress does authorize military action, the gap between Democrats and Republicans shrinks to just four points, with 51% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans favoring military action. And if Congress rejects the resolution authorizing military action, large numbers in both parties oppose airstrikes.
"It appears that while the debate is still in the hands of Congress, politics will affect Americans' views on Syria," Holland said. "Politics may still stop at the water's edge for most Americans, but Capitol Hill remains a highly partisan environment, even when international affairs are being debated."
The poll gives some insight into why many Americans oppose action.
While more than eight in 10 say that it's likely or certain that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, nearly seven in 10 say that it's not in the U.S. national interest to get involved in Syria's civil war. And more than seven in 10 say that airstrikes would not achieve significant goals for the U.S.
And while most of those questioned said that how their members of Congress voted on the resolution wouldn't affect how they voted in future elections, but the remainder by a nearly 3-1 margin said they would be more likely to vote against the lawmakers if they supported the resolution.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International on September 6-8, with 1,022 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.