June 10th, 2014
11:08 AM ET
5 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. Sniffit

    "So, the GOP changes it's stand to look good and criticize Obama. And Obama stood by his beliefs and convictions.
    Which one has a strong moral compass?"

    Indeed. Even McCain, himself once a POW rescued by prisoner swaps, was gifted with an "upside-down Pinnochio" denoting his FULL flip-flop on the Bergdahl issue.

    June 10, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    Keith

    Since I'm assuming that the president ultimately has the final say he bears the responsibility for not only his part in the coming deaths but also in the ordered abandonment of morals for any in his chain of command with a direct role.

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

    Considering the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue released 100 times more prisoners than President Obama, when do we start holding HIM responsible for the subsequent deaths they may have caused? Considering he released 100 times MORE prisoners than President Obama, there's 100 times MORE of a chance that THOSE guys will return to the battlefield. Or does this only apply to those with a "D" after their name?

    June 10, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Marcus (from...?)

    Malory Archer – some of those dudes DID return to battlefield. If they killed or not any soldier is yet to be determined, but some of them ended up dying fighting 'the Great Satan'...

    June 10, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    old age voter

    Of course most Americans disapprove of the exchange for five Taliban prisoners.
    Most Americans would not provide aid and comfort to the enemy.
    Most Americans are not Taliban sympathizers.
    Most Americans are not traitors.
    Most Americans are not Always Wrong Obama.
    --------------------------
    Don't you know what "a plurality" means? Apparently not. Most Americans do not disapprove of the exchange. The number is well under 50%, with one in five undecided.

    June 10, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    Archer
    To say it was a bad deal is an understatement. On top of that Obama went around Congress like he does on so many things. He will go down as one of the most ineffective and inept leaders of our time and its only going to get worse because even more will be unwilling to work with him. I am starting to wonder the real reason for this swap and I don't think it has anything to do with Bergdahl.

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

    IMO the President should have come out on day-1 and said, "Yeah, I bypassed Congress with good reason. They have attempted to undermine me since election day 2008, and have whined since day-1 that they don't trust me. Guess what, Babe? Trust is a two-way street, and as EVERYONE who has spent more than two minutes on the "internets" knows, the reds have on more than one occasion run to the media to spill the beans on classified information. Had they known, they would have leaked to the media and Mr. Bergdahl's safety would have been compromised or worse, and they would have blamed me."

    June 10, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    Marcus (from...?)
    Malory Archer – some of those dudes DID return to battlefield. If they killed or not any soldier is yet to be determined, but some of them ended up dying fighting 'the Great Satan'...

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

    So should we blame President Obama for that, or should we place the blame squarely where it belongs. Or should the CINC be responsible only when there's a "D" after their name?

    June 10, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Dead Bear

    @Janet Nappylotto
    Idiots...

    When a person feels their right to bear arms is endangered... an armed militia comes to their rescue

    When a soldier's right to due process is being infringed upon because he's being tried in the court of public opinion... your hypocrisy shows.

    June 10, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. smith

    The swap is not popular with dems, repubs, and now the polls show the aemrican public as well. Now, we the nonsense being spewed by the Obamaholics who just can`t stand anybody critical of their master. Sorry libs, when major dems like Feinstein are upset its time to put your bias aside for second and really examine the situation.

    June 10, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. 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"

    “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.” – John McCain back in February

    June 10, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Lily

    All these people polled are not aware what has been going on. They are hearing news from a blind sheep Fox News which is not aware of anything just being there to bash the President. Hold up your breaths and noses folks, as soon as the dust is settled down, everyone of us will come up to their right mind and decide accordingly.

    June 10, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "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."

    And what percent of that 56% will turn around and yell and scream that every life is sacred when it comes to abortion and contraception and women's reproductive freedom?

    June 10, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    The headline should have read....

    Blah, blah, blah! Everything Obama does is bad!!!

    FIFY

    June 10, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Marcus (from...?)

    Malory Archer – I was agreeing with you. Of those the previous POTUS set free, some went straight to the battlefield.
    If the (R)'s are puting the blame on any future action of those five, why aren't them at least acknowledging the consequences of the previous POTUS actions on that matter?
    As if we both don't know the answer already?

    June 10, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    The "usual suspects" are just angry that Bergdahl was freed before he could be murdered by his captives. Had that happened every single one of them would jump in front of every single camera they could find to condemn the President for not getting him out of there.

    June 10, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. smith

    The swap is not popular with dems, repubs, and now the polls show the american public as well. Now, we have the nonsense being spewed by the Obamaholics who just can`t stand anybody being critical of their master. Sorry libs, when major dems like Feinstein are upset its time to put your bias aside for second and really examine the situation.

    June 10, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. yeahright

    Dead Bear
    @Janet Nappylotto
    Idiots...

    When a person feels their right to bear arms is endangered... an armed militia comes to their rescue

    When a soldier's right to due process is being infringed upon because he's being tried in the court of public opinion... your hypocrisy shows.
    -----

    they only care about the really important amendment, the others, not so much.

    June 10, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Malory Archer

    Marcus (from...?)
    Malory Archer – I was agreeing with you. Of those the previous POTUS set free, some went straight to the battlefield.
    If the (R)'s are puting the blame on any future action of those five, why aren't them at least acknowledging the consequences of the previous POTUS actions on that matter?
    As if we both don't know the answer already?

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

    Yes. Yes we do know the answer! It only matters to them when there's a "D" after the President's name. When there's an "R" we're all "traitors" who "should be killed so we learn to be afraid" for having the unmitigated gall to say it's a bad idea to start wars!

    June 10, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Chris-E...al

    @ IM WITH STUPID ? You are right and both sides matter on this . thx

    June 10, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    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"

    “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.” – John McCain back in February
    -----------------------------------–
    You're cherry picking again, tom. In your previous post, you claimed that the conversation never took place, and now here you are quoting it. You're making yourself look like a flip flopper and a liar, tom. All I need to do is just watch.

    McCain spoke at length about it. He used the words "Taliban" and "five" when he spoke of a possible deal.

    June 10, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. smith

    WOW, the denial and anger of the libs is out in full force. "They wanted him murdered", "people don`t know whats going on", " tried in the court of public opinion", "Bush did the same", "this is happening only because they hate Obama" Maybe people are upset because they didn`t like the deal. Maybe people are upset that the WH lied about Bergdahl`s conduct.

    June 10, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "the ordered abandonment of morals "

    You mean like establishing an off-shore concentration camp where we keep POWs outside of the rules of all international laws and treaties to which we're a part and then torture them, subject them to inhuman humiliation and "hazing," refuse to charge them with anything, disallow them any representation, refuse to try them in any court of law and just plan to incarcerate them indefinitely in contradiction to every principle of justice upon which our country was founded? You mean that kind of abandonment of morals?

    June 10, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Lolo

    It should read the GOP/Tp party disaproves only. I have never in my lifetime seen a president scrutinized as much as the black president has been. The world knows that is is definitely because of his skin color. The moe the GOP/TP Klan try to deny it it comes out two-fold that they are against this president because of his skin color. People this is 2014 not 1950.

    June 10, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Marcus (from...?)

    smith – 'Maybe people are upset that the WH lied about Bergdahl`s conduct.'
    Maybe people are upset BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING TOLD (without any proof save for those ex-members of Bergdahl's platoon testimonies) that the WH lied about Bergdahl`s conduct.

    Just like they were about so many issues and actions regarding this POTUS's terms.

    Until they learned ALL the facts.

    PS: Yes, I agree that six or seven guys that knew Bergdahl well talking ill about him makes thing looks bad for Bergdahl, but I haven't heard Bergdahl's words yet nor I have heard the COMPLETE findings of the review of his actions. So things are too one-sided as of now.

    June 10, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. rs

    smith

    WOW, the denial and anger of the libs is out in full force. "They wanted him murdered", "people don`t know whats going on", " tried in the court of public opinion", "Bush did the same", "this is happening only because they hate Obama" Maybe people are upset because they didn`t like the deal. Maybe people are upset that the WH lied about Bergdahl`s conduct.
    _____________________
    No, Smith, there's a bit more to it than that. The GOP claims to want due process when it suits them (take Mr. Christie's bridge issue), or with Americans fighting with al Qaeda (that the GOP feels get murdered by "droning"). Mr. Bergdahl is not getting the same concern. And why is that? Could it be that the Right would much rather whine (more) about the President, than be concerned about getting an American POW home? Why drag this poor man's parents into this ("they look Muslim"). The lunatics are threatening their lives for Pete's sake! You people stir up the hornets' nest and walk away- just like one of Mr. Bundy's militia supporters killing cops in Vegas.

    The GOP has more blood on its hands than the 5 Talibaners ever will thanks to their dalliance with the kooks of the NRA.

    June 10, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. yeahright

    @ Rudy
    McCain spoke at length about it. He used the words "Taliban" and "five" when he spoke of a possible deal.
    _______________________________________
    Yes, he did.
    From the Anderson Cooper interview in Feb:

    Would you oppose the idea of some form of negotiations or prisoner exchange? I know back in 2012 you called the idea of even negotiating with the Taliban bizarre, highly questionable," Cooper said.

    "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," McCain replied. "I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details."

    June 10, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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