WaPo poll: 61% disagree with Supreme Court on Gitmo detainee habeas rights

posted at 2:33 pm on June 22, 2008 by Allahpundit

A rare piece of good news in an omnibus poll otherwise brimming with bad vibes. Add a grain of salt before consuming, as the sample’s skewed a bit more towards Democrats than in other recent WaPo polls. WaPo’s also naturally more interested in the data on race — three in 10 admit to prejudice, there’s a racial split on whether race relations have improved, etc. — even though McCain’s age proves to be a bigger liability for him than race does for Obama by a 40/23 spread.

Here’s the most surprising find: Obama with a huge lead on “values”? I assume/hope that’s an artifact of the huge Democratic lead on the generic ballot, since the specific “values” questions asked in the poll show little movement over time.


Obama’s dead even with him now too on the question of who the stronger leader is, a category McCain had led by 11 points in March. Also worrisome, over the course of 10 different polls during the last year, a question about “new direction and new ideas” versus “strength and experience” had never seen the former category top 43% (except once) and never seen the latter below 47% (except once). The new data: 50/43 in favor of Hopenchange.

Foreign policy? Here’s the obligatory data showing no shift on Iraq, although in order to stop Karl from yelling at me again, I’ll note that there’s been a nine-point gain in the number who think we’re winning the war since January 2007. (A plurality still think we’re losing, 46/38.)


And here’s an encouraging result. The question: “Some people say a president (should NOT meet with leaders of foreign countries that are hostile toward the United States, because it could reward their behavior and make the U.S. look weak). Others say a president (SHOULD be willing to meet with leaders of foreign countries that are hostile toward the United States because talking can improve relations and avoid confrontation.) Which of these views comes closer to your own?”


Why is Maverick hammering this point if public opinion is so lopsidedly against him? Because the “should not” contingent above probably cares a lot more about this issue than the “should” contingent does, which makes it an easy way to score points with the base. WaPo has a mystifying article out this morning quoting GOP analysts as wondering why McCain seems to oscillate so much between the image of a maverick reformist and a rock-ribbed Republican. Pssst: Because he needs centrists and conservatives to win, which explains the dopey straddle on drilling offshore but not in ANWR and his vow to secure the borders first while also somehow pushing for comprehensive immigration reform on the day after he’s inaugurated.

Exit question: Actually, this constitutes progress, doesn’t it? The “very” spread here is “only” 19%, as opposed to the 30-pointer in Fox News’s latest. Good news!


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Oh, I wasn’t yelling at you. I was tweaking you — and I tweak because I love — and seek to inform.

To answer one of your other questions, “Why is Maverick hammering this point if public opinion is so lopsidedly against him?”, consult Rasmussen:

Forty-five percent (45%) of likely voters agree with Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama that it’s a good idea for the U.S. president to meet directly with the leader of Iran, but well over half (59%) think that talks should only take place after Iran stops developing nuclear weapons.

The wording of the question is key, which goes back to my overall point about not attaching too much meaning to a single question in a single poll. Indeed, the same point is made within this very poll on the values questions, as you note — the topline says one thing, the internals something a bit different.

Karl on June 22, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Rasmussen also says that fewer Americans believe McCain is too old than Obama is too inexperienced.

Damian G. on June 22, 2008 at 2:50 PM

I think that since party identification fluctuates a lot polsters have just decided to play it safe and assume that Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1. I don’t think that is accurate, but the polsters also know they can always change these numbers later to make it look like there is movement. I have just gotten to the place where I question a lot of polls. I read them and watch them and take note of them, but I don’t have as much faith in them as I used to.

Terrye on June 22, 2008 at 2:50 PM

MM and Jawa Report are reporting that Obama seems to have picked up yet another coveted international endorsement. Vicious dictator Kim Jong Il of North Korea has expressed his preference for Obama over John McCain.

I wonder when we’re going to see a poll asking voters if the fact that Obama is the preferred choice of terrorist group Hamas, as well as despots like Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro, makes them more or less likely to vote for Obama?

AZCoyote on June 22, 2008 at 2:57 PM

The “meet with the enemy” results are misleading again. Unless I’m missing something, it mentions nothing about with or without preconditions. I support meeting with the enemy, too. But that’s only after preconditions are met.

amerpundit on June 22, 2008 at 2:57 PM

WaPo poll: 61% disagree with Supreme Court on Gitmo detainee habeas rights
Jun 22, 2008 2:33 PM by Allahpundit

Could this mean that the American people have not become so dumbed down as once thought?

Travis1 on June 22, 2008 at 2:58 PM

WaPo poll: 61% disagree with Supreme Court on Gitmo detainee habeas rights

IMHO a better poll would have been, how many agree, or disagree if the five insane SCOTUS members that legislated this nonsense BE REMOVED (IMPEACHED). Keep in mind, the same five jesters did us under in Kelo vs. City of New London, on eminent domain.

byteshredder on June 22, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Whew, these numbers are awful for McCain.

Tied for the “strong leader” question?

Gonna’ need a lot of photos like these over the next 6 months.

And I’m not sure those would work either. It’s a Democrat year – decade? – and there’s not much anyone can do about it. That’s why Hillary fought so hard for the nomination; everything points to a Democratic election.

SteveMG on June 22, 2008 at 3:02 PM

(b.), (c.) and (d.) (first graphic, above) suggest an apppeal customized toward “the younger,” as in, early twenties.

They’re not going to identify with ANYone over forty, they’re going to routinely assume that NO “older person” is ever going to “understand” them or represent them. I write this so assuradly because I remember how I thought and reasoned when in early (if not throughout) twenties (though my disassociation wasn’t antagonistic toward the older, it was just disassociated like nearly everyone else I knew of that same age).

This is the hurdle we face today from the Right as to having a candidate of McCain’s age versus an opponent of middle age who’se so far managed a good performance as “a young guy” (despite him being middle-aged).

Which (also) probably explains the preposterous support for Obama as “representing…values” because it’s predominantly viewed skewered by age differences, I believe. If you’re talking jive (Obama is) and dancing with Ellen (Obama is), you’re just looking more like you’re with it than McCain frowning at the Ellen invite to walk her down the aisle (Ia gree with McCain, however).

I’m just referring to the age differences, younger views group approval and group emotional union more importantly than the older among us, and as you age, you realize you have to have your own, individual set of principles and reasons and there may not always be a crowd there to take cover with or issue approvals. I think younger, you don’t yet understand that versus older, you do. Thus, younger, they’re associating an audience applauding a celebrity and a big grin on a guy as more agreeing with “values,” etc.

S on June 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM

I’m also thinking there needs to be far more emphasis on Obama’s meager to weak experience and proficiencies versus his actual age. Obama’s no “young man,” he’s into middle age and by that point, he doesn’t have an extensive list of accomplishments. Thus, he’s actually under performing by comparison with many men his age (also some women). But he’s definitely not someone I’d deem to be “young” or representational of the young voters, except, perhaps, the under achievers among them.

S on June 22, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Also I think that people are more concerned with domestic issues right now and Democrats always do better with that. They talk about health care, child care, education costs, stuff like that.

But it all depends on who you talk to. I live in the country and this is a Democratic Congressional district. Blue Dog country, and I have seen no enthusiasm for Obama around here. Not one bumper sticker, nothing.

Terrye on June 22, 2008 at 3:40 PM

Most pollsters are like the NYT editors who published the CIA interrogators name. They have an evil agenda and it isn’t for the welfare of the USA or we the people.

wepeople on June 22, 2008 at 3:44 PM

61% is not nearly as high as it should be. I find it discouraging that the number is ONLY 61%.

Tony737 on June 22, 2008 at 3:59 PM

More JUDICIAL TYRANNY! We here in California know all too well…

DfDeportation on June 22, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Though my first reaction matched Tony737, ONLY 61%!, at least 61% felt strongly about the decision being wrong to actually be counted by the WaPo at this point. So 61% disagree with Obama on this point, whether they realize it or not.

I am certain that so many people on ritalin have had their brain waves altered so as not to cohesively think independently from a given point A to B to C to D. Couple stunted thought process with stunted education and the popular media’s destruction of Enlightened Reason, we should be counting our blessings that 61% of the polled population still recognize and reject tyranny from the judicial bench.

Summum ius, summa iniuria. Highest law, greatest injustice.

maverick muse on June 22, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Should have been 91%.

But a slight majority is slightly hopeful.

The SCOTUS members ALL failed to appreciate the Constitutional violation inherent in their habeus corpus ruling:

presuming that THEY could declare when a war -or “invasion”- was occuring, or not.

Which is not within their scope.

Congress alone has the power to declare war, and the President to execute it.

This decision exposed a complete failure of the Court to assess its proper Constitutional realm, and becomes a crude power grab, however unconsciously or naively the move was made.

The Court needs to be contained.

An “activist Court” is troubling, but an Expansionist Court is intolerable.

profitsbeard on June 22, 2008 at 5:02 PM

I would hate to lose a basketball game by the score of 61-39, wouldn’t you?

DfDeportation on June 22, 2008 at 5:02 PM

“This decision exposed a complete failure of the Court to assess its proper Constitutional realm, and becomes a crude power grab, however unconsciously or naively the move was made.”

Profitsbeard, in agreement that The Court needs to be contained we must realize that their crude power grab was NOT unconsciously or naively made, but very purposefully accomplished so as to be DUPLICATED my the many lower courts.

maverick muse on June 22, 2008 at 5:29 PM

I’m glad that you voiced an observation that I share. Obama has done very little to distinguish himself for a man of his years, Even when he served in the Illinois senate, he was given credit through political arm twisting for legislation that he neither authored nor fostered. Obama reminds me of an overage adolescent who has depended on charm and a mellifluous voice.


onlineanalyst on June 22, 2008 at 6:32 PM

61% in this poll probably does actually represent a larger number than it appears. Probably should give it another 10 points.

Terrye on June 22, 2008 at 7:04 PM

Shoot the enemy combatants when first encountered on the battle field, or wherever found. The argument about the ‘information’ we receive is not worth it.

The lefties are after the emasculation of the U.S.A., and diminishing the military machine is a core facet ot it.

Entelechy on June 22, 2008 at 7:22 PM

WaPo poll: 61% disagree with Supreme Court on Gitmo detainee habeas rights

What’s troubling about this poll. Other than up their butts, where else can the heads of the 39%ers be?

byteshredder on June 22, 2008 at 7:43 PM

What kind of a question is “who would do more to bring needed change to Washington?”

Poll disregarded as meaningless tripe.

Jaibones on June 22, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Neither of them are leaders :(. Douchebags? Yes, both of them are that. Sheesh. I’m starting to think that crazy bastage Ron Paul is a good idea.

Not kidding.

Kevin M on June 23, 2008 at 1:33 AM

WaPo poll: 61% disagree with Supreme Court on Gitmo detainee habeas rights

Why that low?

The rest of these people need to get beyond their blind hatred of Bush. It’s not about him; it’s about giving the rights of US citizens to non-US-citizens, and people who hate US citizens and the rights of US citizens.
You can’t put it any plainer than this!

ToddonCapeCod on June 23, 2008 at 4:35 AM