Zogby/O’Leary Report Poll: American Voters Do Not Want Guantanamo Bay Detainees Relocated to Their State

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President Obama’s mission to close the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is becoming a lonelier fight by the day.

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Promising to close Guantanamo Bay made for a good sound byte during last year’s Democratic presidential primary race

President Obama’s mission to close the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is becoming a lonelier fight by the day. Just two days after taking the oath of office, President Obama hastily issued a controversial Executive Order vowing to close the prison camp by 2010. But last week, a bi-partisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed (259-157) legislation that denied Obama the funding needed to shut down the facility.

Now the President Obama is scrambling to find foreign nations willing to take some of the 200-plus prisoners and accused terrorists currently held captive in Guantanamo Bay – and for good reason. According to a recent Zogby International/O’Leary Report poll, a majority of Americans do not want the detainees relocated to prisons in their state.

The Zogby/O’Leary Report survey asked voters:

President Obama plans to close Guantanamo Bay and move detainees suspected of terrorism to high-security prisons in the United States. Would you favor or oppose moving some of those prisoners to a prison in your state?

A majority of American voters (54.7 percent) are opposed to moving Guantanamo Bay prisoners to a prison in their state, while only 40.7 percent favor the move (4.6 percent are not sure). In addition, the sentiment is much stronger coming from those opposed, as 46.9 percent say they are “strongly opposed,” whereas only 22.5 percent say they “strongly favor” bringing the detainees to their state.

A majority of self-identified “Independent” voters (56.1 percent) oppose the move and only 39.4 percent of Independents favor it (4.5 percent are not sure).

Among young voters age 18-29, 53.1 percent are opposed to moving the detainees to prisons in their states, while only 43.8 percent approve (3.1 percent are not sure).

“Promising to close Guantanamo Bay made for a good sound byte during last year’s Democratic presidential primary race,” said Brad O’Leary, publisher of The O’Leary Report.

“But good sound bytes and good policy are two different things. The President rushed to make good on a promise to his far-left constituents, without bothering to have a viable plan, or even support from a majority of congressmen in his own party. Now he finds himself in the difficult, and somewhat embarrassing, position of having to convince foreign nations to harbor hardened prisoners that Americans don’t want in their own backyard.”

The Zogby/O’Leary Report poll was conducted June 12-15, 2009, and surveyed 4,369 voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points.

Brad O’Leary is publisher of “The O’Leary Report,” a bestselling author, and is a former NBC Westwood One talk show host. His latest bestseller, “Shut Up, America! The End of Free Speech,” (http://www.EndofFreeSpeech.com) is available now in bookstores. To see more poll results, go to http://www.olearyreport.com. To interview Brad, contact Shawna Shriner at (703) 272-1500 or shawnashriner @ pm-direct.com.

Media Contact: Peyton Knight at (703) 272-1500 or peytonknight @ pm-direct.com

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