[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/22/art.gitmo7.gi.jpg caption="Attitudes about the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have changed dramatically since President Barack Obama took office."]Washington (CNN) - Attitudes about the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have changed dramatically since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new national poll.
Support for closing the facility has dropped 12 points over the past 14 months, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates.
Shortly before Obama's inauguration, 51 percent of Americans said they thought the facility in Cuba should be closed. Now that number is down to 39 percent, and six in ten believe the United States should continue to operate Guantanamo.
The poll, released Sunday, suggests independent voters are contributing to the 12 point overall drop.
"Just Democrats still think that Guantanamo should be closed, but Independents have completely changed - from an even split in January 2009 to three-quarters who want to keep the facility open today," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
More than three out of four Republicans questioned in the poll think that the facility should stay open.
Upon taking office in January 2009, President Obama said he intended to shut down the controversial detention facility in a year. That deadline has slipped, with no specific date announced for closing Guantanamo.
"I believe we're going to get there, but it's complicated," White House senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday on "State of the Union," adding that there has been progress toward closing the facility.
Since 2001, the United States has used the facility to detain suspected terrorists from other countries.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted March 19-21, with 1,030 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report