To Win The Battle To Close Guantanamo, President Must Convince Opponents They Will Be Safe

June 05, 2013, 3:00 PM UTC

(Week of 6/1/2013)  Americans (and most members of Congress) continue to oppose the shutdown of the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay; but the latest Economist/YouGov Poll suggests that some of that opposition would disintegrate if Guantanamo detainees were transferred to maximum security prisons in the United States.

More than a quarter of the opposition to closing Guantanamo disappears once people are told the detainees would go to super max prisons, leaving just over a third of all Americans convinced that Guantanamo should remain open rather than send detainees to super max prisons.

The war against terrorism continues, even though the Al Qaeda attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center that were carried out September 11, 2001 are no longer seen as the major threat. Americans worry more about small groups in other countries and those who live in the United States who follow Al Qaeda’s ideology. The public divides on the President’s handling of terrorism, thought they are marginally in favor, with 47% approving and 42% disapproving. The public also divides – and in the expected partisan direction – on whether they can trust the Obama Administration to make the right decisions about when to use unmanned drones to kill targets associated with terrorism.

Americans are as likely to say there should be more drone strikes as to say there should be fewer with Republicans even more willing to say there should be more drone strikes.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association