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Most Favor Sending New Terror Suspects to Guantanamo

The Trump administration is reportedly considering sending new suspected terrorists to the Guantanamo Naval Base prison camp in Cuba, and most voters think that’s a good plan.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey shows that only 29% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the Guantanamo prison established after 9/11 by the George W. Bush administration should be closed. Fifty-three percent (53%) say the facility should not be closed as President Obama unsuccessfully attempted to do. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

These findings are little changed from early last year.  Support for closing the Guantanamo facility which has been criticized by many other countries because it houses prisoners who have not been formally changed with a crime hit a high of 44% in January 2009 when Obama first announced his plan to close it,  but most voters have opposed closing the prison camp in surveys since then.

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As long as the facility remains open, 55% of voters say new terrorism suspects should be sent there. Thirty-two percent (32%) think those suspects should be held in U.S. jails and prisons instead, while 12% are not sure. Most voters have opposed bringing any of the Guantanamo inmates to prison facilities here in surveys since 2009.

Forty-three percent (43%) still believe the release of some of the suspected terrorists at Guantanamo by the Obama administration has made the United States less safe, although that’s down from 56% last year. Only 10% think this country is safer because of those releases. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say they have had no impact, a 10-point increase from February 2016.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 10-11, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Confidence that the United States has the edge in the war on terror remains higher than it has been in several years, while concern about the dangers of domestic Islamic terrorism is down.

Men believe more strongly than women that the Guantanamo prison camp should remain open and also are bigger supporters of sending new terror suspects there.

Those under 40 are less convinced than their elders that releasing suspects from Guantanamo has made America less safe. Accordingly, younger voters are the least supportive of using the prison camp for new suspects.

Republicans (75%) are twice as likely as Democrats (38%) to think that new suspected terrorists should be sent to Guantanamo. Most voters not affiliated with either major party (55%) agree.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of voters who Strongly Approve of President Trump’s job performance say the Guantanamo facility should be used for new terror suspects. But 55% of those who Strongly Disapprove of the job Trump is doing disagree.

Just 32% of all voters said the United States was safer after eight years of the Obama presidency. 

The radical Islamic State group (ISIS) has taken credit for the two recent mass terror attacks in England, and voters here strongly agree with President Trump that ISIS needs to be totally wiped out.

Eighty percent (80%) consider radical Islamic terrorism a serious threat to the United States.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters agree that Islamic religious leaders need to do more to emphasize the peaceful beliefs of their faith

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 10-11, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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