- The Washington Times - Monday, June 9, 2014

A new Pew Research Center poll asked Americans the difficult question about the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal, and this is what they found: “Overall, 56 percent say the U.S. has a responsibility to do all it can to return an American captive soldier, no matter what the circumstances; 29 percent say that because Bergdahl left his post, the U.S. was not obligated to do all it could to secure his release.”

“Reactions to the Bergdahl case are deeply divided along partisan lines. Fully 71 percent of Republicans think the prisoner exchange was the wrong thing to do, while just 16 percent say it was the right thing to do. Democrats, by more than two-to-one (55 percent to 24 percent), have a positive opinion of the agreement,” the survey says.

Two thirds of the respondents also say President Obama should have kept Congress in the loop during the process.

But there are many numbers. A sampling:

64 percent of American say President Obama should be required to inform Congress about decision like Sgt. Bergdahl’s rescue; 87 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents agree.

30 percent overall say Mr. Obama is not obligated to inform Congress; 11 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of independents agree.

59 percent overall say Sgt. Bergdahl makes them neither sympathetic or angry; 52 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of independents agree.

56 percent say the U.S. is always obligated to secure a captive’s release; 39 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents agree.

43 percent overall say the “Bergdahl exchange” was the wrong thing to do; 71 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of independents agree.

34 percent say it was the right thing to do;16 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of independents agree.

29 percent say the U.S. was not obligated to return Sgt. Bergdahl because he “left his post”; 48 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents agree.

Source: A Pew Research Centerpoll of 1,004 U.S. adults conducted June 4-8.