Byron York analyzes the latest Gallup poll on President Obama’s plan to close the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, and finds that the “results are devastating for the president’s plan”:
According to the poll’s internal numbers, large majorities of men oppose closing the prison, large majorities of women oppose it, large majorities of white people oppose it, large majorities of non-white people oppose it, people with graduate degrees oppose it, and people who didn’t finish high school oppose it. Pretty much everybody.
For Obama, the key numbers are the ones that break down opinion by political party. Ninety-one percent of Republicans oppose shutting Gitmo. Sixty-eight percent of independents oppose it, too. The only group that favors shutting down the prison is Democrats, and that is by a relatively narrow 53 percent to 42 percent margin.
When virtually the entire opposition party, plus 68 percent of independents, plus 42 percent of your own party oppose something you want to do, then you’re in trouble.
These numbers are driven in large part by the fact that an overwhelming majority of respondents reject Obama’s claim that Gitmo has damaged our security–only 18 percent agree with him.
This is one of many instances where Obama’s “popularity” is just that–popularity. The fact that most Americans like Obama has not meant, so far, that they believe what he says or are willing to sign on with his policies.