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Poll: 4 in 10 Say Bergdahl Swap Was 'Wrong Thing'

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Image: Bowe Bergdahl
In this image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban have released a video showing the handover of Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan. The video, emailed to media on Wednesday, shows Bergdahl in traditional Afghan clothing sitting in a pickup truck parked on a hillside. More than a dozen Taliban fighters with machine guns stand around the truck and on the hillside. That feel-good moment in the Rose Garden sure seems like a long time ago. Just a week after the president announced that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been freed in Afghanistan, details emerging about the soldier, the deal and how the rescue came together are only adding to the list of questions. A look at what's known _ and unknown _ about saving Sgt. Bergdahl. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video)Uncredited / AP

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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.

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