June 10th, 2014
11:08 AM ET
2 months ago

Polls: Plurality disapprove of Bergdahl swap for Taliban prisoners

Washington (CNN) - More Americans disapprove than approve of the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban prisoners, according to two new national polls.

And the surveys indicate a wide partisan divide over the controversial deal, with most Republicans giving the exchange a thumbs down and a majority of Democrats approving of the swap.

Forty-five percent of people questioned in a CBS News poll released Tuesday morning say they disapprove of the deal, announced a week and a half ago, with 37% supporting the exchange and nearly one in five unsure.

A USA Today/Pew Research survey released Monday had similar findings, with 43% saying the release of five Taliban prisoners held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in exchange for Berghdal was the wrong thing to do. Thirty-four percent say it was the right thing to do and nearly a quarter are unsure.

Besides the expected partisan divide, both polls indicate a majority of military veterans disapprove of the deal.

Bergdahl went missing on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan's Paktika province, where he was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after his disappearance concluded that Bergdahl left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will, according to an official who was briefed on the report. The Army has no definitive finding that Bergdahl deserted because that would require knowing his intent - something Army officials couldn't learn without talking to the soldier, a U.S. military official told CNN.

The prisoner exchange has become a game of political football, with Republicans who once called for the administration to work for Bergdahl's return now saying the swap released some of the worst Taliban leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay.

According to the USA Today/Pew Research Center poll, 56% of the public says the U.S. is responsible for securing a captive's release, regardless of the circumstances, with 29% saying since Bergdahl left his post, the U.S. was not obligated to do all it could to secure his release.

The CBS News survey indicates that a majority of the public (56%) say the U.S. paid too high a price to secure Bergdahl's release.

The CBS News poll was conducted June 8-9, with 1,013 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

The USA Today/Pew Research Center poll was conducted June 5-8, with 1,004 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.


Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • Polls
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    The GOP traitors didn't deserve to know prior. They would have ruined everything. And then turned around and blamed the POTUS. I'm happy he is no longer begging them to work with him.

    June 10, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Archer

    The marine in Mexico is not held by terrorists so that doesn't matter. They could get our marine back with a few meetings but since we can't give away five mass murders its not worth the time.

    June 10, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Maybe people are upset because they didn`t like the deal"

    What is hard for you to understand about this? The GOP/Teatrolls sent out operatives to contact his platoon mates and then helped sensationalize and propagandize the untried allegations of desertion and even went to far as to insinuate that Bergdahl had defected to the Taliban, all while comparing his father to a Muslim terrorist because he grew a beard that is no different than the ones hanging off the faces of the Duck Dynasty family or a Red Sox pennant winner. They did this for one reason and one reason alone: to reduce Bergdahl's perceived "value" and thereby generate the opinion that he was not worth bringing home, that the "deal" was lopsided and not worth was lop-sided and not worth it. They did this despite him being innocent until proven guilty. They did this despite the Joint Chiefs saying that he is innocent until proven guilty and that such accusations do not weigh on the determination of whether we leave someone behind. They did it because it is a mid-term year and they were desperately scrambling to prevent Obama from looking like he had a "win" for something. They did it and have now set the precedent that every single soldier who serves in our military and becomes a POW will now be placed on the Scales of Politics and their "worth" will be weighed in order to determine whether bringing them home is too politically damaging to be bothered with. Does that not bother you? That the return of a POW was turned into something politically damaging solely to serve the interests of the party who would not be able to claim any credit for it? It should. It should bother every single one of our servicemembers too...especially the ones who aren't citizens, but still serve our nation faithfully.

    June 10, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    Archer
    The marine in Mexico is not held by terrorists so that doesn't matter. They could get our marine back with a few meetings but since we can't give away five mass murders its not worth the time.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    He's a FORMER Marine, and how do you know nobody's working on his release?

    June 10, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Tom l

    Rudy,
    What's the matter with you? Please show me where I said that McCain never said he was open to a swap when I quoted him directly saying he was open to the swap. Rudy, you are the fibber and it's proven in your post where you said the McCain was offered the "exact deal" and now you are trying to wiggle out of your "facts" by saying he said "5" and "Taliban" so that equals the same exact deal. You are aware there are more than 5 Taliban being held, right?

    Oh, and would you like to also concede your "facts were off again when you claimed that the Taliban aren't terrorists?

    I agree with smith, you guys have zero credibility because you refuse to look at actual facts rather than the "factual that you make up.

    June 10, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "He's a FORMER Marine, and how do you know nobody's working on his release?"

    Tinfoil hat idea reception device.

    June 10, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Janet Nappylotto

    Face it, Libs... Obama lied to all of us... again. He will continue to lie as long as you are happy to give him free pass, after free pass, after free pass.

    June 10, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. smith

    @rs-Whats your point? There are radical on both sides. You don`t think Bush or his daughters had death threats? My point is all other scandals aside, this one has bi-partisan anger to it. Which none of you are willing to talk about.

    June 10, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    These are probably the old people who spend their days being indoctrinated by faux news and the half lies and innuendos.
    The teaklan domestic terrorists shouldn't know anything prior to the adults doing what needs to be done.
    BTW, nice touch of that couple who killed the two police officers in Las Vegas leaving behind a swastika and the don't tread on me Taliban, excuse me teaklan, flag. Shows you what the koch brothers have created in our own country.
    We don't need anyone from the outside to destroy US!

    June 10, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. smith

    @Sniffit- Where is your evidence that the Army is secertly in kahoots with the GOP to make Obama or anyone look bad? E.T. doesn`t count.

    June 10, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. i'malib

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    The GOP traitors didn't deserve to know prior. They would have ruined everything. And then turned around and blamed the POTUS. I'm happy he is no longer begging them to work with him.
    -----------------------------
    That's right! GOP traitors like that Fienstien would have ruined everything!!

    June 10, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Tom l

    Rudy,
    What's the matter with you? Please show me where I said that McCain never said he was open to a swap when I quoted him directly saying he was open to the swap. Rudy, you are the fibber and it's proven in your post where you said the McCain was offered the "exact deal" and now you are trying to wiggle out of your "facts" by saying he said "5" and "Taliban" so that equals the same exact deal. You are aware there are more than 5 Taliban being held, right?
    -------------------------------
    " Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release Taliban, some of them really hard-core, particularly five really hard-core Taliban leaders, as a confidence-building measure. Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man. I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details."

    That is the full quote tom l And, here's yours, tom.

    "tom l

    Leave it to Rudy to completely lie as nobody knows what the deal they were talking about before was but somehow Rudy knows what the deal was! Oh, and here's McCain's quote so the rest won't be misled by The Great Pontificator who says he only uses "facts."

    The only person being free and loose with the facts are you, tom. McCain proposed the exact deal that took place. Maybe no one told him the deal was about to be put in motion, but he sure was talking like he knew the details of the negotiation was taking place back in February.

    June 10, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. smith

    @Marcus-As of right now we have four segments to a five segment story.
    1. The Army investigation from 2009-Bergdahl AWOL
    2. Statements from soliders wo were there-Bergdahl AWOL.
    3. Afghan villagers statements-Bergdahl alone.
    4. Taliban statemnets-captured Bergdahl off his base alone.
    5.Bergdahl`s statement-?

    June 10, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Say WHAT???

    This was a stupid and bad deal NO MATTER WHAT WAY YOU LOOK AT IT!!!

    No country on this planet would have ever done this. Only the incompetent Obama would have ever even imagined this was a good deal and the right thing to do.

    This is NOT about bringing one of our soldiers home at any cost no matter how high that cost is. Had the Taliban demanded ALL of the prisoners from Gitmo, would have Obama done the same thing?

    This country is still engaged in a war with this group, they were and are top level leaders of the group still engaged in killing our soldiers on a daily basis, they are war criminals, they have not changed during their imprisonment.

    The fact is Obama just continues to lie to the American people every time he does something. Bergdahl was NOT near death. Bergdahl was NOT in danger of being killed. Bergdahl did NOT serve his country with honor and distinction. These five terrorist killers DO endanger us and the world now that they are free.

    Obama continues his war on our nation and everything it stands for. He and his supporters have used and twisted the "leave no man behind" philosophy to justify their horrendoues decision and atrocious bad judgement.

    Obama is simply a disaster.

    June 10, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Sensei

    Kids take note before you join the military. Your country mostly believes your life is worth less than Taliban military commanders.

    June 10, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Marcus (from...?)

    smith – again I agree with you. Those are the four points we know about it. If Bergdahl's claims that he was punished for trying to escape (whatever that punishment was) are proven true, then 3 is off the hook since they didn't kept him chained to a wall but punished him any time he tried to escape.
    1, 2 and 4 are complementary, and have ZERO importance in the issue of bringing him back home, and NOW that he is (technically) 'back home' they will matter on how the Army deals with him.

    June 10, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. RandyIA

    Holy cow, I didn't think it could happen. But even this conversation has people blaming Bush for things he did and the race card has been played.

    June 10, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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