Rasmussen: Support for closing Gitmo rapidly dropping
posted at 2:25 pm on August 25, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
With Barack Obama’s support fading on his economic leadership, it probably comes as no surprise that voters have lost confidence on his national-security agenda, too. When Obama took office, he had significant support for his pledge to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Rasmussen finds that his support has rapidly dwindled this summer, dropping to 32%, and opposition strengthening:
Seventy-five percent (75%) of U.S. voters are at least somewhat concerned that dangerous terrorists will be set free if the Guantanamo prison camp is closed and some prisoners are transferred to other countries. Fifty-six percent (56%) are very concerned.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 24% are not concerned about the potential danger.
Support for the president’ s plan to close the prison camp for suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba continues to erode. It’s been steadily dropping since Obama announced the camp closure just after taking office in January. Only 32% of voters now favor closing the prison camp, down six points from May and down 12 points since the President announced his decision in January.
Fifty-five percent (55%) now oppose closing the prison, with 13% not sure. In January, just after the president announced his decision, just 42% were opposed.
Obama has gone from a virtual dead heat on this question to a 23-point gap in just seven months. Even though Obama had run on the issue during the campaign, his rollout of the decision helped sap strength from his policy. More than halfway through to his goal, Obama still has no plans for the remaining Gitmo detainees, no decision on how to process them and adjudicate their cases, and has wound up right back to where Bush was in proposing indefinite detention under military auspices. The performance reeks of incompetence, which has hammered his support.
The demographics look even worse. Obama loses majorities of both men and women (60%, 50%) and independents have abandoned him as well (62%). Only 56% of Democrats now support the policy of closing Gitmo. Obama loses every single income demographic, all but one (under $20K) by wide majorities. It’s a dead heat among the youngest voters (18-29, 37%-36% opposing) but wide majorities in all other age brackets.
Put simply, it’s a disaster.