Poll: Majority opposes Gitmo closure

A new survey shows Americans solidly against the idea of moving detainees to the U.S.

Published June 2, 2009 4:35PM (EDT)

It just got a whole lot harder to accomplish President Obama's goal of closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay any time soon. A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows Americans strongly opposed to the idea of shuttering the prison.

Asked, "Do you think the United States should -- or should not -- close this prison and move some of the prisoners to U.S. prisons?" 65 percent of respondents said it should not be closed, 32 percent said it should. The reaction was even stronger when those prisoners would, hypothetically, be moved to a prison in the respondent's home state. Seventy-four percent oppose closure in that case, while just 23 percent favor it.

The intensity of feeling on the subject, too, could have an impact. Fifty-four percent of those polled said they'd be "upset" if the prison were closed, while only 18 percent said they'd feel that way if it remained open. Fourteen percent said they feel the facility should be shut down, but wouldn't be upset if that didn't happen.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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