55% of Independent Voters Say “Do Not Shut Down Gitmo”

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A poll conducted January 19-21 by Zogby International finds that closing Guantanamo Bay is enormously unpopular with American voters. The Poll also finds that a strong majority of voters disagree with the Obama administration’s decision to grant constitutional rights and a civil trial to the Nigerian national who tried to bomb an airplane over Detroit on Christmas Day.

Perhaps the most measurable failure of President Obama’s first year in office is his inability to shut down the U.S. terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, as he promised to have done by January 2010. However, a poll conducted January 19-21 by Zogby International finds that closing the facility is enormously unpopular with American voters. The Poll also finds that a strong majority of voters disagree with the Obama administration’s decision to grant constitutional rights and a civil trial to the Nigerian national who tried to bomb an airplane over Detroit on Christmas Day.

Voters Don’t Want Gitmo Shut Down

The Zogby poll asked:
A story in the New York Times says that an unreleased Pentagon report finds one-in-five terror suspects released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility return to the fight. Critics of Guantanamo say holding prisoners without trial is against American values. Do you think the President should immediately shut down Guantanamo, shut down Guantanamo sooner rather than later, shut it down at a later date, or not shut down Guantanamo at all?

  • A strong 49 percent plurality of voters do not want Guantanamo shut down and an additional 8 percent think it should be shut down at a later date. Nearly 25 percent want it shut down soon and 11 percent want it shut down immediately.
  • Among Independent voters, 55 percent do not want Guantanamo shut down and an additional 9 percent think it should be shut down at a later date. Almost 24 percent want it shut down soon, and only 6 percent want it shut down immediately.

Voters Want Christmas Day Bomber Tried in a Military Tribunal

The Zogby poll asked:
Do you think that Umar Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man who attempted to detonate a bomb aboard a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day, should be tried in a military tribunal, or be given U.S. Constitutional rights and tried in a civilian court in Detroit?

  • A solid 60 percent majority of voters think the Christmas Day bomber should be tried in a military tribunal, and only 33 percent agree with the Obama administration that he should be given constitutional rights and tried in a U.S. civilian court.
  • Nearly 61 percent of Independent voters think Abdulmutallab should be tried in a military tribunal, and only 31 percent agree with the Obama administration’s decision to grant him constitutional rights and try him in the U.S. civilian court system.

The Zogby International poll was commissioned by The O’Leary Report newsletter. The Poll surveyed 2,377 voters January 19-21, and has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 2.0 percentage points. The O’Leary Report will be releasing results from this latest Zogby poll each day this week. To view full poll results and crosstabs for today’s release, click here or go to http://www.OLearyReport.com .

Brad O’Leary is publisher of “The O’Leary Report,” a bestselling author, and is a former NBC Westwood One talk show host. To see more, go to http://www.OLearyReport.com . To interview Brad, contact Shawna Shriner at (703) 272-1500 or shawnashriner(at)pm-direct(dot)com.

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