Poll: Majority Favor Waterboarding Flight 253 Suspect

Talking Points Memo

A new Rasmussen poll finds that voters want to go to great lengths against Flight 253 bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, with a majority saying he should be waterboarded to extract information.

The poll asked: “Should waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques be used to gain information from the suspected bomber?” The result was 58% yes, to only 30% who said no.

The internals shouldn’t be too surprising: “Men and younger voters are more strongly supportive of the aggressive interrogation techniques than women and those who are older. Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party favor their use more than Democrats.”

The poll also found that 71% want the event to be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act, to only 22% who want it to be investigated by civilian authorities as a criminal act. (Note, however, that this phrasing of the question is a bit different than if respondents had been asked about trying the suspect at a military commission or a criminal court.)

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