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Most Voters Worry That Closing Guantanamo Will Set Dangerous Terrorists Free

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Voters are more concerned than ever that the ongoing Obama administration effort to close the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba will allow dangerous terrorists to go free.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 84% of Likely U.S. Voters are now at least somewhat concerned that dangerous terrorists will be set free if the prison camp is closed and some prisoners are transferred to other countries. That includes 57% who are Very Concerned.

Only 14% of voters are not very or not at all concerned about this possibility. (To see survey question wording, click here.

The level of concern is up from the 75% who felt that way in August 2009.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress not to pass pending legislation that would ban the transfer of terrorism suspects from the Guantanamo prison to the United States for any reason. The Obama administration plans to try some of those suspects in U.S. courts. But a plurality (46%) of voters favor a ban on transferring the suspected terrorists to this country, and 63% say they should be tried before military tribunals rather than in civilian courts.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 11-12, 2010 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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