The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reveals that following the San Bernardino terrorist attack, 70 percent of Americans now believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction and only 43 percent approve of Barack Obama’s job performance as president.
About 71 percent of Americans say that the “shootings and random acts of violence that took place this year in Charleston, S.C., Oregon , Colorado, and the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, California — are now are now a permanent part of American life.”
Domestic terrorism and national security have more than doubled this year and now are the top issue for 40 percent of Americans. The next nearest categories are job creation and economic growth at 23 percent and the deficit and government spending at 11 percent.
President Obama told global leaders at the opening of the Paris climate change conference, just after the San Bernardino attack, that dealing with climate change was a “rejection” of what terrorists seek to do to the world. But only 7 percent of Americans rate climate change as their number one priority.
The NBC/WSJ survey found a continuing partisan divide in the poll, with 58 percent of Republican primary voters saying national security/terrorism is their top concern, versus only 26 percent of Democratic primary voters saying it is their top priority. Democrats by 33 percent and Republicans by 12 percent rate economy/jobs as their top issue.
When asked, “Is taking military action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in our national interest or not,” roughly 60 percent are ready to send in the military and only a paltry 13 percent are opposed to direct intervention. Forty-two percent say the military should use both airstrikes and combat troops; 36 percent say it should be limited only to airstrikes; and just 12 percent say military action should not be taken.
As a result of these negative trends, President Obama’s disapproval rating has risen by 11 points since early summer, to 51 percent.