Reuters poll: Obama approval at 38/55, two-thirds worry about “dangerous” detainee swap precedent

posted at 11:01 am on June 10, 2014 by Guy Benson

Right on the heels of Allahpundit’s post from last evening comes a poll — a pair of polls, actually — from Reuters that may suggest President Obama’s numbers haven’t quite bottomed out yet.  First, on overall approval, O’s at (38/55) with a (-19) intensity gap — via Phil Kerpen:

That’s from their rolling presidential approval tracker, which has pegged Obama’s job approval deep underwater for months.  In that sense, AP’s thesis from yesterday remains intact: The president’s ratings haven’t suffered that badly from the VA mess and the Bergdahl firestorm because they’ve been terrible for some time, perhaps more so in this polling series than in others.  As a point of reference, last week’s Fox News national survey was only slightly more favorable than the Reuters’ tracking data, measuring Obama’s base approval at (40/54).  Why do a soon-to-be lame duck president’s ratings matter anyway?  According to Sean Trende’s always-insightful analysis, history suggests that they should matter a great deal to Congressional Democrats on the ballot this fall.  Which brings us to Reuters poll number two, which specifically asks about the ‘Taliban Five’ trade.  Pew’s figures — also released late yesterday — showed general disapproval of the deal at (-9), including an arresting (-52) among veterans.  Here’s the Reuters data, which AP tacked on as an update:

Americans harbor mixed emotions about the issues at play in the Bergdahl affair, most of which cut against the administration’s call.  While nearly 80 percent go with the no-brainer answer on the US making “every effort” to recover its POWs, fully two-thirds see the Taliban trade as setting a “dangerous precedent” that could endanger Americans in the future.  All told, support for the specific deal Obama cut sits 15 points underwater (29/44) in this survey, a far cry from the anticipated (or not actually anticipated, based on which version of spin you’re working off of) “euphoric” public response. But given the substantial chunk of undecideds, are these numbers salvageable for the administration?  Not if people catch wind of stories like Eli Lake’s latest scoop:

A top intelligence official told lawmakers in a classified Senate briefing last week that he expected four out of the five Taliban leaders released by the Obama administration to eventually return to the battlefield. According to a pair of U.S. officials, the briefing from Robert Cardillo, a deputy director of national intelligence, represented the latest community-wide U.S. intelligence assessment on these Taliban Five, completed in 2013…U.S. officials told House intelligence committee members Monday that the Taliban Five would be reunited with their families and free to meet anyone they choose, but they will be monitored by both U.S. and Qatari intelligence. The Daily Beast reported last week that many top U.S. intelligence officials worried that Qatar would not keep its word; these American officials were concerned that any monitoring the U.S. would be able to do in Qatar would need to be approved by the country’s security service—which might mean very little monitoring at all.

No wonder DiFi characterized the swap as a “mixed bag at best” on Sunday morning.  Our intelligence community’s best assessment was that at least four of the five freed Taliban commanders would eventually return to jihad; in the meantime, they’re able to meet with anyone they please as they wait out their one-year travel ban — which may or may not be strictly enforced by our Qatari security “partners.”  On a related note, is this a red line from John Kerry, or is he just spitballing?  Erika noted last night that some Hill Democrats continue to criticize the president for not informing at least a handful of relevant Congressional members.  The administration’s latest in a cavalcade of excuses for declining to doing so was that they were too concerned about a leak that might endanger Bergdahl’s life.  The secret (which wasn’t much of a secret, dating back years) had to be closely held.  Very, very closely held:

Dozens of administration officials, plus the Qataris (and possibly even the terrorists themselves) knew before Congress.  So where should critics of the deal, including a Texas Republican who was held for seven grueling years as a POW, take their complaints?  Team Obama seems to be struggling to stay on the same page over minor details, such as who made the final call:

Click through to the Standard’s story to read a series of quotes from Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) expressing “disgust” over Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers stepping forward to “demonize” their former comrade. She affirms that she’s talking about these guys.  And lest anyone doubt how face-first-in-the-tank she is for Obama in all of this, Schakowsky adds that the Taliban/Bergdahl swap was a “perfect solution.” Not a flawed but necessary gambit. Not an excruciating decision, fraught with peril and trade-offs. Perfection.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

…still so many brain dead people!

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM

If you believe that Hagel made the Bergdahl decision you also believe in Santa and the Easter bunny.

Nadler of NY said last night in the congress “the Taliban are freedom-fighters, just like the American revolutionaries”.

Pelosi got up to support obama.

The House booed them.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I think Dear Liar’s attempt to pass the buck to Hagel is going to ding him a bit more. People don’t like it when you try and take credit for something only to pass the blame on someone else when it blows up.

rbj on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) expressing “disgust” over Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers

…she Russian?

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Hey, come on folks, how can a POTUS committing Treason be a dangerous precedent? Isn’t it the President Constitutional Obligation or right to do that or something?

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

It’s difficult to see how Chuck Hagel recovers from this national disapproval of his Taliban trade.

de rigueur on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

…still so many brain dead people!

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM

And the Left wanna keep it that way. The more the merrier.

hawkeye54 on June 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) expressing “disgust” over Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers

She can’t dispute one single item of what they say. They are very calm and consistently effective. Thus, she is disgusted with them.

It must hurt to be her, or any D-rat.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

You notice that poll never mentions DESERTER anywhere.

dogsoldier on June 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

…she Russian?

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Yes – “her parents were Jewish immigrants, her father from Lithuania and her mother from Russia”.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:09 AM

It must hurt to be her, or any D-rat.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

It would only hurt if… they had morals, ethic’s or a conscience.

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM

The Rs cover obama on Bergdahl.

The Rs support obama on the slave-labor and children trade.

Immigration: Republicans should take the president to task for unlawfully enticing thousands of “unaccompanied illegal children” from Latin America to cross the border. Instead, a GOP leader asks for an amnesty deal.

What is at the top of the Republican wish list? A vibrant economy? An America strong and respected in the world? Capturing the Senate? A Republican elected to the White House in 2016?

Nah. The GOP wants amnesty for illegal aliens.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., made that abundantly clear in an interview with a local Virginia TV station WTVR last Friday. He said he told President Obama that “we can work on the border security bill together. We can work on something like the kids.”

And Breitbart reports that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is secretly gauging House GOP support for action on amnesty legislation before August.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

It’s difficult to see how Chuck Hagel recovers from this national disapproval of his Taliban trade.

de rigueur on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Ah yes. Just about everyone in Bammy’s admin is expendable and replaceable.

I see a resignation soon perhaps followed by a comfortable retirement in his near future.

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone

hawkeye54 on June 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

If Al Reuters says at 38, he’s probably in Dubya ’06 territory for real.

And we all know King I wouldn’t trust Hagel with the swap. That would be like trusting Lurch to get it right.

Barry may be an ignorant, vain sociopath, but he’s not dumb.

Or something.

formwiz on June 10, 2014 at 11:12 AM

That idiot E.J Dionne is saying this is all just GOP attack rhetoric, just made up outrage over Bergdahl. Guess he is more clueless than I thought and that was pretty clueless. What a hack.

major dad on June 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

According to FOX, Nadler in a closed door meeting last night compared the Taliban to our own revolutionaries.

In sane times he’d be thrown out. In our times his constituents don’t even know who he is.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

the answer is obvious. We all need to hold our noses and vote republican again.

Maybe this time they will do something remotely conservative!!

If we just win the Senate for the GOP, they’ll do the opposite of everything they have done and say they will do!!

I’m told that when the GOP wins, conservatives win.

Monkeytoe on June 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Um, the Townhall link to Pavlich’s piece about Lois Lerner sending the FBI taxpayer info is mind-blowing.

If the Feds were building a database, I really don’t know how you clean house. This is not a tsk-tsk moment.

budfox on June 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Hey, come on folks, how can a POTUS committing Treason be a dangerous precedent? Isn’t it the President Constitutional Obligation or right to do that or something?

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Pfft!! We all know the Constitution is outdated. A quaint relic of a bygone era. Our POTUS should always have the right to act without being hampered by something no longer relevant.

The same can be said of CONgress too, regarding relevancy.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on June 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Hey, come on folks, how can a POTUS committing Treason be a dangerous precedent? oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

“To that end, he made the conscience decision to betray those who trusted him to their enemies.”

You mean conscious. At any rate, who makes unconscious decisions?

Akzed on June 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

@stephenfhayes

Hmm…WH today: #Bergdahl decision was Hagel’s. Hagel on 6/1: Obama “made the ultimate decision

You knew this would happen. The only member of the GOP in obama’s cabinet is thrown under the bus.

Chuckie, we tried to warn you

ConservativePartyNow on June 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Same Nadler

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:17 AM

On Video, forever

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:18 AM

38/55.

Just think, this is where Obama is with a protective media.

Now imagine if he had an adversarial media like the one Bush faced (same media of course).

Makes ole W look pretty darn tough, doesn’t it?

Missy on June 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

38/55.

Just think, this is where Obama is with a protective media.

Now imagine if he had an adversarial media like the one Bush faced (same media of course).

Missy on June 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Meh… If he had the one that Sarah Palin faced, he would be in prison waiting to ride the lightning.

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

A top intelligence official told lawmakers in a classified Senate briefing last week that he expected four out of the five Taliban leaders released by the Obama administration to eventually return to the battlefield.

Via Foreign Policy:

Facing growing skepticism on Capitol Hill about its decision to swap five Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the White House told lawmakers at a classified briefing late Monday night that some of the freed militants were political figures, not hardened soldiers, according to lawmakers who attended the session.

In the past several days, the administration has rolled out a number of reasons to justify swapping Bergdahl, a potential deserter, for the five Taliban officials. White House officials said they had concerns about Berdgahl’s health, felt an obligation to never leave a soldier on the battlefield, and feared the militants were preparing to kill the missing soldier. But House lawmakers exiting a late Monday briefing said the administration was now shifting to a new defense that emphasized the lack of threat posed by the individuals that were released as part of the deal.

They discussed “the dangerousness of the individuals,” or lack thereof, said Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) in an interview, referring to Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Mohammad Fazi, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammad Nabi Omari, otherwise known as the “Taliban Five.” While Turner said he didn’t trust the way the administration characterized their rap sheets, other Democratic lawmakers were convinced that claims about the Taliban Five being “hardcore” terrorists were exaggerated.

“They don’t seem to have been combatants at all,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who attended Monday’s briefing. “The guys we traded, you hear all kinds of things about ‘they killed Americans.’ Three of them were governors of provinces under the Taliban government…They were governors.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who also attended the briefing, agreed. “Who are these people? As it turns out … they were government officials. They weren’t soldiers, and they aren’t soldiers now.”

The takeaway from Democrats appeared to differ with the supposed characterization of the Taliban Five offered by intelligence officials last week in a briefing with Senate lawmakers, according to a report by the Daily Beast. In that story, a senior intelligence official allegedly told lawmakers that he expected four out of the five Taliban members to return to the battlefield.

Men, who are wanted by The Hague for war crimes involving the murder of – literally – thousands of Shi’ites and ethnic cleansing aren’t dangerous to kooks like Nadler, Zofgren, and Schakowsy.

Resist We Much on June 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Hagel looks as if he needs geranimals to dress himself in the morning. Obama seriously expects anyone with a pulse to believe that Hagel could make this kind of decision?

BuckeyeSam on June 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM

You notice that poll never mentions DESERTER anywhere.

dogsoldier on June 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I bet the realized that “Deserter” would have polled off the charts – while “traitor” is more malleable in peoples’ minds…

djl130 on June 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Obama learned of the prisoner swap when he saw it on tv . . . .

dubyawon on June 10, 2014 at 11:26 AM

“Who are these people? As it turns out … they were government officials. They weren’t soldiers, and they aren’t soldiers now.”

Hitler wasn’t a soldier, either…

djl130 on June 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Hagel looks as if he needs geranimals to dress himself in the morning. Obama seriously expects anyone with a pulse to believe that Hagel could make this kind of decision?

BuckeyeSam on June 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM

On June 1 Hagel claimed that obama made the final decision.

Plus, this.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

@stephenfhayes

Hmm…WH today: #Bergdahl decision was Hagel’s. Hagel on 6/1: Obama “made the ultimate decision

You knew this would happen. The only member of the GOP in obama’s cabinet is thrown under the bus.

Chuckie, we tried to warn you

ConservativePartyNow on June 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Will no one in the administration Stand Up for Chuck?

de rigueur on June 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Monkeytoe on June 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

No more. Mitt was the last fooling.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

these American officials were concerned that any monitoring the U.S. would be able to do in Qatar would need to be approved by the country’s security service—which might mean very little monitoring at all.

This shouldn’t be too hard. We just check their Facebook status everyday. When it changes from “Chillin’” to “Off on Jihad!” then we know we have problem.

Seriously. You guys worry about the smallest things.

dreadnought62 on June 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Dem Rep. Jackie Speier Defends The Taliban: “To Call Them Terrorists Is Not Accurate”…

I’m stunned. A Democrat loving on some of the original warriors in the War on Women? ///

Has Rep Speier forgotten that the Taliban used to execute women in stadiums and pour acid on girls who tried to get an education?

Resist We Much on June 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Meh… If he had the one that Sarah Palin faced, he would be in prison waiting to ride the lightning.

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Agreed, but Palin wasn’t a two-term president. Just trying to keep it apples to apples.

Missy on June 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Has Rep Speier forgotten that the Taliban used to execute women in stadiums and pour acid on girls who tried to get an education?

Resist We Much on June 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Forgotten? no, he just doesn’t see anything wrong with it. To see anything wrong with it, would be intolerant because such behavior is the norm within Islamic culture, and we have to respect Islamic culture because it is after all the Religion of Piece…

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Agreed, but Palin wasn’t a two-term president. Just trying to keep it apples to apples.

Missy on June 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Obama wouldn’t be either had he faced the same media.

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Forgotten? no, he just doesn’t see anything wrong with it. To see anything wrong with it, would be intolerant because such behavior is the norm within Islamic culture, and we have to respect Islamic culture because it is after all the Religion of Piece…

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Rep Speier is a WOMAN, which makes her statement even worse.

Resist We Much on June 10, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Hitler wasn’t a soldier, either…
djl130 on June 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Yes he was.

Akzed on June 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM

It must hurt to be her, or any D-rat.

Schadenfreude on June 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

She (and any D-rat) would first, have to NOT be a psychopath, to feel any pain from being this wrong.

Anymore, any D-rat is going to have to show me something special to prove they are NOT a psychopath, as this condition seems to be a prerequistite to being a D-rat in the first place.

Harbingeing on June 10, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I’ll say Obama reached the bottom when a page of little pictures comparing him to a chimp, similar to that of Bush, starts making circles on Facebook.

Rix on June 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Wow! now Congress can use Obama’s favorite line, ” I first heard about it from the news reports”.

Tater Salad on June 10, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Hmm…WH today: #Bergdahl decision was Hagel’s. Hagel on 6/1: Obama “made the ultimate decision.”

“He did it.” “No, he did it”, said the two boys in the schoolyard pointing fingers at each other. Where are the adults in the room?

Can we send both Obama and Hagel to Qatar so they can be thanked by the Taliban 5?

Steve Z on June 10, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Obama wouldn’t be either had he faced the same media.

oscarwilde on June 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

So very true. Good point.

Missy on June 10, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Liberals are clueless.

ama on June 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Unclassified Document Shows In 2011 Obama Argued In Court Taliban Commander He Freed In Exchange For Bergdahl Should Not Be Released…

Resist We Much on June 10, 2014 at 11:34 AM

King Barky the Liar has evolved on yet another issue.

Remember when I said I wouldn’t do what I did in your mouth? I evolved on that.

jukin3 on June 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Has Rep Speier forgotten that the Taliban used to execute women in stadiums and pour acid on girls who tried to get an education?

Resist We Much on June 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Why, yes, yes she has. Dude, that was, like, years ago. What’s more important, ancient history or running interference for her beloved party and preezy.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on June 10, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Liberals are clueless.

ama on June 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Yup. Their fearless leaders want to keep it that way and see to it that cluelessness continues to grow rampant.

hawkeye54 on June 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I bet the realized that “Deserter” would have polled off the charts – while “traitor” is more malleable in peoples’ minds…

djl130 on June 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Yeah deserter would have cratered that poll.

btw according to one book I read Hitler served in WWI and may have been hit with mustard gas. The author wasn’t sure.

dogsoldier on June 10, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) expressing “disgust” over Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers

…she Russian?

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Al Qaeda.

VorDaj on June 10, 2014 at 2:03 PM

“If Al Reuters says at 38, he’s probably in Dubya ’06 territory for real.”

Oh, definitely- I suspect Earflaps the Lesser (world’s only action figure sized head of state) has been in the mid 30′s since about February if not sooner, only polls like this bunch have been jacking with the poll samples.

That is to say, WAY oversampling/weighting dumbocrats and idiot lefties, and undersampling/weighting Repubs, Indies, and those of us with functioning brains that think princess sandtraps is a colossal failure.

Anyone catch the splits in the latest poll?

GrassMudHorsey on June 10, 2014 at 2:50 PM