Older Independents Support Afghanistan Troop Increase, Oppose Other Key PoliciesDecember 15, 2010
Voters 55 and older strongly support President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But they are split on whether his national security policies have made America safer, and they intensely oppose his decisions to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to try 9-11 terrorists in New York City. The Resurgent Republic survey was conducted, December 6-9, 2009 with 1000 registered voters 55 and older.
Congressman B says putting suspected 9-11 terrorists on trial in New York City instead of a military tribunal is a bad idea, because it elevates New York City as a terrorism target, will expose confidential intelligence-gathering methods, and gives terrorists captured on the battlefield the same rights as American citizens.
Fifty-nine percent of voters 55 and older agree with Congressman B that suspected 9-11 terrorists should be subject to a military tribunal instead of a visible, open trial in New York City (34 percent agree with Congressman A), including an 82 to 15 percent margin among Republicans and a 65 to 30 percent margin among Independents. Democrats 55 and older agree with Congressman A, however, by a 54 to 36 percent margin, showing the Democratic base to be at odds with Independents and the older electorate as a whole.
Voters 55 and older approve of President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. These voters approve of the President’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan by a 62 to 32 percent margin, including 76 to 19 percent among Republicans, 61 to 32 percent among Independents, and 52 to 43 percent among Democrats.
By a 2-to-1 ratio, these voters disapprove of President Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo. These voters believe that “holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay helps protect America by keeping terrorists in custody who would kill Americans overseas” by a 62 to 29 percent margin over the statement that “holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay weakens America’s moral authority and isn’t in keeping with our values.” Republicans and Independents overwhelmingly agree with the first statement by 87 to 9 percent and 64 to 28 percent respectively. Democrats narrowly prefer the second statement by 45 to 41 percent.
Voters 55 and older also disagree with the President’s decision to try suspected 9-11 terrorists in New York City. Given the following statements about trials for terror suspects:
Congressman A says putting suspected 9-11 terrorists on trial in New York City instead of a military tribunal is a good idea, because it shows that America provides the same rights to everyone, including those suspected of the worst crimes, and a visible, open trial will prove to the world any convictions are deserved.
Voters 55 and older split on whether President Obama’s national security and foreign relations policies have made America safer or less safe. Thirty-three percent say less safe, 30 percent say safer, with 31 percent saying the policies have had no effect. Those results, however, mask a double-digit margin among Independents saying those policies have made America less safe, 38 to 25 percent.
Read the full report: Older Independents View Republicans In Congress More Favorably Than Democrats