Fox Poll: Most Say Prisoner Deals Put Soldiers at Risk

Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 12:33 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Americans are divided about the Obama administration's deal to free five senior Taliban detainees in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but the vast majority of voters agree that making deals with terrorists will encourage militant groups to take more American soldiers hostage, a new poll has found.

In a Fox News poll of 1,006 registered voters, 84 percent surveyed about the Bergdahl prisoner swap said they are concerned that making deals with terrorists will encourage hostile groups to take more American soldiers hostage. Fifty-seven percent said they are "very concerned," while 27 percent said they are "somewhat concerned."

Just 15 percent of people said they are not worried that similar deals will put more troops at risk.

The poll was conducted June 1-3, before reports emerged that Bergdahl voluntarily walked away from his post and had written letters to his father that he was ashamed to be an American. Nevertheless, even at that time, the public was divided about the wisdom of the Obama administration's deal.

Specifically, 45 percent of voters said they approved of the swap, compared to 47 percent who said they disapproved.

"Americans hold mixed views of the Obama administration's deal to swap a captive U.S. soldier for five Taliban prisoners, yet almost all fear that negotiating with terrorist groups will put U.S. troops at risk," Fox reported.

The poll also showed that Democrats and Republicans diverge in their approval.

Fifty-nine percent of Democrats approve of the Bergdahl swap, compared to 32 percent who disapprove. The figures are virtually reversed for Republicans: 62 percent of GOP voters said they disapprove of the deal, compared to 31 percent who approve.

At the same time, large majorities from both parties are concerned that groups will take more Americans hostage as a result of prisoner swaps, including 77 percent of Democrats and 93 percent of Republicans.

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