Poll: American Public Actually Not Afraid of Terrorism; Backs Obama Post-Northwest 253
A fascinating CNN/Opinion Research poll (PDF) shows that there really isn’t much change pre- and post-Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in how the American public views the threat of terrorism. For instance, ten percent of respondents polled between Oct. 16 and 18 were “very worried” about terrorism. On Jan. 8-10, nine percent were. And looking at the crosstabs, those numbers are surprisingly consistent going back years. So much for round-the-clock media headlines and the line, abetted by President Obama, that a failed attack was actually successful.
Good news for Obama: on August 28-31, 63 percent of respondents had either a “great deal” or a “moderate amount” of confidence in his approach to terrorism. Now… *65 percent *of Americans do. The numbers for those who lack confidence in him haven’t changed, either. Fifty-seven percent of respondents approve of Obama’s handling of the Abdulmutallab incident, even as an equal number think he should be tried in military court
Taken together, it would appear from the poll that Obama has more room to maneuver on counterterrorism than his Department of Homeland Security’s recent profiling moves indicate.