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June 21, 2005
Poll Shows Gitmo Support Extends Beyond GOP, Bush

CNN/USA Today/Gallup released its latest poll numbers among adults, not voters, and not surprisingly it shows that George Bush has not made much of a rebound since last month's poor showing. His negatives outweigh his positives, and support for the war also has ebbed to its lowest levels in months. Without getting into hyperanalysis of the polling sample and methodology (Gerry always does that well, as does ABP), it's clear that Bush needs to get back in front of the American people and start talking about the successes in Iraq and Afghanistan. If Arthur Chrenkoff and even Kofi Annan can do it, certainly we should be hearing more of it from the Bush administration.

However, as Michelle Malkin points out, the polling does show something very interesting -- and should lead to a quick change in the public debate. Even with Bush's numbers dropping, the public supports the detention at Guantanamo of Islamist terrorists by a wide margin:

George Bush: Approve - 47% Disapprove - 51%

Guantanamo: Keep open - 58% Close - 36%

Detainees: Treated properly - 52% Not treated properly - 37%

Those numbers show a significant and bipartisan support for the operation of Gitmo and the continued detention of dangerous terrorists at Camp X-Ray. Almost a third of the people who disapprove of George Bush don't think that detainees are being abused and don't want Gitmo shut down. While more people are unsure of detainee treatment, that doesn't transfer to a belief in mistreatment, and in either case Gitmo has majority support.

Democrats have hammered on Gitmo for a month now, and the numbers still show a 22-point gap for those who think it should be closed. That 36% -- among adults, not voters, mind you -- represent less than any Democrat would rely on in a national election, let alone a mandate for change. And after Dick Durbin's idiotic remarks on the Senate floor last week, those numbers will probably decline slightly over the next few weeks.

In other words, as a political play against the Bush administration, Gitmo's a loser. As this poll gets absorbed by the Democrats, expect to hear less and less about Gitmo. It's turning into an albatross for Durbin and Reid with absolutely no return for their party.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 21, 2005 5:39 PM

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» Durbin's apology from The Anchoress
I dunno...I hate to be picky...but it didn't really seem like an apology, to me. When I apologize, it's because I've really understood that I've crossed a line, gone too far, really hurt someone, or done wrong...I've internalized it, felt it in my g... [Read More]

Tracked on June 21, 2005 8:33 PM

» Americans support US activities at Gitmo. from The Buzz Blog
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Tracked on June 22, 2005 12:04 AM

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