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Shortly after President Obama concluded his remarks on Syria on Tuesday night, CNN ran a poll to gauge response. The effect was subtle but distinct: Obama changed some minds. But does it still matter?

For its poll, CNN first asked respondents prior to the speech whether or not they thought strikes against Syria were a good idea, to set a baseline. Then, the polling firm asked people how effectively Obama made his case. (In each of the graphs, blue sections indicate responses favorable to the president's plan; red, unfavorable.)

What was your reaction to the speech?

Do you favor the approach Obama presented?

Perhaps more importantly, the comparison with those pre-speech polls suggests a shift in the president's favor on two key questions.

Would attacks on Syria achieve significant goals for the US?

Is it in the US' interests to get involved?

As many pundits noted, the speech was more a snapshot of the administration's current complex, sometimes-jumbled position than a straightforward here's-what-I-want-and-why-I-want-it request. (With the notable exception of pundit Andrew Sullivan, who loved it: "I’m tired of the eye-rolling and the easy nit-picking of the president's leadership on this over the last few weeks.") The CNN poll suggests that didn't matter to voters — probably because many hadn't been paying close attention to how the position of the moment evolved.

Both The Washington Post and the Huffington Post continue to update their whip counts on Syria, the tallies of which members of Congress support which position. Last week, we noted that such counts seemed very preliminary; since the evolution of the compromise plan on chemical weapons, that's become much more the case. (We also noted that, as shown in this CNN poll, the public is more in support of action than congressional response indicates.) During his speech, the president asked Congress to hold off on voting for anything even as the Senate debated what the new "anything" might look like. Obama did so in part because the whip counts didn't look great, sure, but also because the nation is still figuring out what it wants.

So do those minds he changed last night really matter? If Congress never needs to vote, if — as would happen in the best of best case scenarios — the UN reaches agreement on a plan to remove Syria's chemical weapons, how the public feels about Syria is far less politically important. Obama moved some Americans to his point of view on Syria. But not many, and perhaps to little benefit.

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