Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.
A new poll suggests that President Obama's national security policies—including the use of unmanned drones to target terrorism suspects—have broad support among Americans, including the traditionally dovish left wing of his Democratic base.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll found that the use of armed drones was backed by 83 percent of respondents, and 77 percent of liberal Democrats, a somewhat surprising number given that some human rights advocates have taken issue with the program.
Obama has relied on the drones far more than George W. Bush did, and has expanded their use to include missions outside of defined war zones. However, the support for the drone strikes dropped somewhat when respondents were asked specifically about the issue of targeting an American citizen living abroad, as was the case when Yemeni-American Anwar al-Awlaki was killed last year.
The president also got high marks for his decision to keep Guantanamo Bay open, despite promising during his 2008 campaign that he would shutter the military prison. Seven in 10 Americans said they supported his decision, including slightly more than one half of self-described liberal Democrats.
The poll numbers suggest that Obama won't have to worry too much about an alienated base, at least on national security issues, as his re-election campaign kicks into full gear. Still, the survey suggests he will have his work cut out for him on other fronts: When asked if Obama deserves a second term, respondents were split, with a narrow majority (53 percent) saying that he did.
Full numbers here.