(NEW YORK) — President Obama is drawing strength from an unexpected area as he girds for his re-election campaign, benefiting from military and anti-terrorism policies that have been controversial in some quarters, but are broadly popular with the public overall.
Eighty-three percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Obama’s use of unmanned drones against terrorist suspects, 78 percent back the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 70 percent favor keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention center open — the latter, a reversal by Obama from his 2008 campaign position in which he assailed the prison and vowed to close it.
Strength of sentiment also is very much on the positive side. Strong approval far outpaces strong disapproval, by 55 points on drones (59-4 percent), 47 points on troop withdrawal (56-9 percent) and 29 points on keeping Gitmo running (42-13 percent).
Two-thirds in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, also favor the use of unmanned drones specifically against American citizens in other countries who are terrorist suspects.
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