20 February 2016

66% say Obama should attend Antonin Scalia’s funeral


Barack Obama has been embroiled in two rows in the last 48 hours. One concerned his announcement that he would be visiting Cuba as part of his forthcoming trip to Latin America. He’ll be the first sitting US President to visit the country for eighty years and Senators Cruz and Rubio have been quick to condemn what they see as a presidential blessing for what is still a human rights-abusing state. The other controversy concerned President Obama’s spokesman’s suggestion that he would not be attending Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral on Saturday. President Obama will instead pay his respects on Friday, by visiting the Supreme Court where Scalia will lie in repose. There is some speculation on social media that Mr Scalia’s family had asked Mr Obama not to attend but this has not been confirmed.

We asked the YouGov First Verdict panel what they thought of both decisions.

The President gets significant backing for visiting Cuba. 64% approved of the decision to engage in this way and only 31% were opposed.

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The decision not to attend the funeral was met with as much disapproval as the Cuban visit met with support. 66% think the President should attend.

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Tim Montgomerie is Editor of Portrait of America