Majority of N.H. Voters Support Keeping Gitmo Open

WFB Poll: NH voters also favor trying suspected terrorist in military tribunals

View of the U.S. Naval Station base in Guantanamo Bay / AP
June 12, 2013

New Hampshire voters support the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and say detained suspected terrorists should be tried in military tribunals rather than civilian courts, according to a Washington Free Beacon poll.

Sixty-two percent of voters said they favored making Guantanamo Bay a permanent facility for detaining, interrogating, and trying suspected terrorists, while 38 percent were opposed. Voters also favored trying suspected terrorists in military tribunals over civilian courts 65 percent to 35 percent.

Four hundred New Hampshire registered voters were surveyed June 2 to June 3 in a poll conducted by the Polling Company, Inc. on behalf of the Free Beacon. It used the same methodology as Democratic-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling.

Drawing support from 22 percent of respondents, Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) is the favored 2016 Republican presidential candidate among GOP primary voters in New Hampshire.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) is close behind Paul at 18 percent, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) both draw 17 percent. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker trails with 2 percent, and 24 percent remain undecided.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds an imposing lead among New Hampshire voters who plan to vote in the Democratic primary, with 61 percent support. Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick are under 10 percent. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) are tied at just 1 percent, while 19 percent remain undecided.

When matched in an unlikely head-to-head against her husband, the former secretary of state would beat the former president in a landslide, 65 percent to 10 percent.

The Free Beacon poll found New Hampshire voters evenly split on President Barack Obama’s approval rating, with 50 percent approving of his performance and 49 percent disapproving, a drop from his approval rating in Public Policy Polling’s April poll.

New Hampshire voters were also divided on immigration policy. Forty-four percent favored a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, while 44 percent said illegal immigrants should return to their home country and then apply for legal status in the United States. Twelve percent said illegal immigrants should be granted legal status but without official citizenship.

The party breakdown in the Free Beacon poll was 41 percent Republican, 38 percent Democrat, and 21 percent unaffiliated. The poll was conducted using interactive voice recording, the same method used by PPP. The margin of error was 4.9 percent, and results were not weighted.