Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies

  • February 18, 2009

President Obama receives positive ratings for his handling of terrorism and most Americans say his administration's policies will reduce the likelihood of another major attack on the United States. But as in recent years, the public remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat of terrorism.

Americans approve of Obama's handling of the threat of terrorism by more than two-to-one (50% approve vs. 21% disapprove), while 29% offer no opinion. Yet opinion is much more closely divided over Obama's decision to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in the next year. Fewer than half (46%) approve of the decision while 39% disapprove.

There are wide partisan differences over Obama's Guantanamo policy, as there were with many of the major anti-terrorism policies of the Bush administration. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats (64%) support the president's decision to close Guantanamo, while 69% of Republicans oppose this decision.

Read the full report Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies on the Pew Research Center's Web site.