About four-in-ten Americans say that the prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was “the wrong thing to do,” while 34 percent say it was the right move, according to a new poll. But more than half also say the United States should be responsible for ensuring the return of a captive soldier, no matter what the circumstances are.
The new poll by the Pew Research Center and USA Today found that Republicans were more likely to have a negative reaction to the swap, with 71 percent of Republicans calling it the “wrong thing” versus 24 percent of Democrats.
Fifty-six percent of respondents said that the United States has a responsibility to work to retrieve a captured solider under any circumstances, while 29 percent believe that, because Bergdahl reportedly left his post on his own, the country wasn’t obligated to do everything necessary to ensure his release.
Conservative Republicans were the most likely to say that the United States wasn’t obligated to secure Bergdahl’s release.
So far, public sentiment towards Bergdahl himself is fairly muted, the poll found. Fifteen percent say they are angry with him, and the same share say they feel sympathy for him. Nearly six-in-ten respondents said they didn’t feel either way.
The poll of 1,004 was conducted June 5-8 and has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.
First published June 9 2014, 12:38 PM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
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Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.