New poll – leave GITMO open
In another poll that Democrats will do their best to ignore, the majority in favor of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for terrorist detainees has melted away.
The significance of the poll isn’t that the majority now favors leaving the facility open – although that certainly has some significance. Instead, it is found in who has changed their mind about GITMO. Hint: It isn’t Republicans or Democrats:
Attitudes about the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have changed dramatically since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new national poll.
Support for closing the facility has dropped 12 points over the past 14 months, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates.
Shortly before Obama’s inauguration, 51 percent of Americans said they thought the facility in Cuba should be closed. Now that number is down to 39 percent, and six in ten believe the United States should continue to operate Guantanamo.
The poll, released Sunday, suggests independent voters are contributing to the 12 point overall drop.
The big change? Among independents. 75% of independents now want the facility kept open. Previously it was about a 50-50 split. That’s a dramatic shift.
CNN, who commissioned the poll, doesn’t advance a reason for the change, but I’d venture to say that many independents have reconsidered their stance when they realized that the claim that GITMO was a recruiting tool for al Qaeda was so much over-blown campaign rhetoric. That regardless of where the prison is, the fact that we were detaining terrorists is the recruiting tool, not the prison facility itself. And, with the talk of moving these dangerous inmates to facilities inside the US – bringing a possible threat of terrorism to US communities – they realized the security benefit of keeping the facility off shore.
Not that any of those excellent reasons for leaving Guantanamo open will penetrate the close-minded thinking of those in the administration or anything. But it is another example of an issue in which independents are deserting the Democrats.
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