Poll: Record Level of Americans Say Terrorists Are Winning

AP Photo/Rahmatullah Naikzad
AP Photo/Rahmatullah Naikzad

The percentage of Americans who say the terrorists are currently winning the war against the U.S. is at its highest level since September 11, 2001, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

The poll found that 40 percent of Americans say the terrorists are winning the war on terrorism, while just 18 percent said the U.S. and its allies are currently winning. Another 40 percent of Americans said “neither side” is winning and two percent had no opinion.

The share of Americans who said the U.S. and its allies are winning is at its the lowest point since CNN/ORC began asking the question following the September 11 attacks. Meanwhile the percentage of Americans who say the terrorists are winning is at its highlight point.

Prior to Monday’s poll, previous lows regarding success of the U.S. and its allies were in January 2007 when just 28 percent said they were winning and June 2006 (29 percent). Previous highs about the terrorists winning occurred in August 2006 and August 2005 when 22 percent and 23 percent, respectively said the terrorists were winning.

The survey was taken from December 17-21, following the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. Republicans (55 percent) were more likely than Democrats (24 percent) to say the terrorists are winning.

Americans overall expressed dissatisfaction with the way the things are going for the U.S. in the war on terrorism with 74 percent of Americans saying they are either “not too satisfied” or “not at all satisfied.” That broad dissatisfaction held relatively true across party lines with 86 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of independents expressing dissatisfaction.

The poll further found that 60 percent of Americans disapprove to the way President Obama is handling terrorism, with just 38 percent approving. Additionally Americans are divided on how confident they are in the Obama administration’s ability to protect citizens from terrorism, with 30 percent saying they have no confidence “at all,” 20 percent “not much,” 34 percent “a moderate amount” and 17 percent “a great deal.”

Poll questions were asked of a split sample of 1,018 adults (of 512 or 506 adults) and have an overall margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points while the party break downs have a margin of error of +/-8.5 percent or less.


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