The AP-Times Square New Year’s Eve Poll indicates that the Islamic State, the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks, and mass shootings ranked as “extremely important” or “very important” news for Americans in 2015.
Moreover, the poll, conducted by Gfk Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, shows that only 29 percent of Americans believe 2015 was better personally than 2014, and 57 percent believe 2015 was worse than 2014 for the world as a whole.
According to the poll, 63 percent of Americans responded “extremely important” or “very important” when asked how important the following 2015 news item was to them personally: the “Islamic State’s far-flung atrocities and terror attacks prompt [an] intensified multinational effort to defeat it.”
And when asked about the January 7 Charlie Hebdo attack and the November 13 Paris attack, 64 percent of Americans said they were “extremely important” or “very important” news in 2015.
When asked about stateside terror attacks, such as San Bernardino and Chattanoogo, 68 percent of Americans said they were “extremely important” or “very important” 2015 news stories.
Because of how the San Bernardino question was worded, the two stateside terror attacks were paired with two mass shootings–Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Umpqua Community College–as well as the presence of an increasing fear of terrorism. So the 68 percent response is somewhat muddled. The question stated: “Mass shootings: 14 killed in San Bernardino, heightening U.S. fears of terrorism; 9 at Charleston church, leading to Confederate flag’s removal from State House grounds; 9 at Oregon community college; 4 Marines slain in Chattanooga.”
The bottom line is that Americans are worried about terrorism, both at home and abroad. And while many do not believe things improved for them personally in 2015, many others–57 percent–actually believe the world got worse during the last calendar year.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.