According to a new poll from Rasmussen, 44 percent of Democrats surveyed said President Bush and his administration were guilty of "war crimes"; 28 percent of Democrats disagreed.

Obama has faced calls from liberals to investigate Bush administration actions for potential criminal activity: one of the most popular reader questions posted to Obama's transition website asked whether Obama would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's use of torture and warrantless wiretapping. (Though he suggested in April 2008 that he would consider an investigation, Obama said this month that he would not likely look into potential Bush administration crimes.)

A majority of Democrats, however, agree with Obama's apparent decision not to investigate or prosecute Bush, as 53 percent said it would be bad for the nation if Bush and his senior officials were brought to trial for war crimes.

Republicans, predictably, had a different take on the "war crimes" question: 4 percent of Republicans thought the Bush administration committed war crimes. Among unaffiliated respondents, 21 percent thought Bush was guilty.

Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 Americans via telephone Jan 23-24 for the poll; its margin of error was +/- three percentage points.