For the first time, a majority of Americans believe that the country is less safe today than before the al-Qaida attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new Fox News national survey.
The poll asked voters: “Do you think the United States is safer or less safe today than before 9/11?” A majority, 53 percent, said they felt “less safe,” versus 38 percent
who felt “safer” and 6 percent who saw no change (the rest didn’t know).
Asked if the Obama administration was more concerned with “downplaying” the threat of Islamic extremism than “stopping” it, 54 percent replied “downplaying” compared to 36 percent who answered “stopping” it, with 11 percent saying they didn’t know.
Some 25 percent of Democrats fell into the “downplaying” category, according to Fox.
Overall, 64 percent said Islamic extremists have been making gains, whereas 26 percent felt they are losing ground.
A wide majority — 83 percent — support current U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State terror group, compared to 74 percent in October. This majority holds true for Republicans (89 percent), independents (81 percent) and Democrats (79 percent), and between men (86 percent) and women (81 percent), Fox reported.
A majority, 51 percent, of Americans, however, oppose sending a “significant number” of troops to fight Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria. But by 52 percent, they would be willing to send a “limited number” of ground forces.
Americans are divided about sending weapons to Jordan, Iraq and other countries in the fight against Islamist extremists: 46 percent are in favor; 44 percent are opposed.
Solid majorities of both Republicans and Democrats also favor increasing airstrikes and using drones, though Republicans tend to favor a robust military response in wider numbers, Fox reported.
The poll was conducted nationwide by telephone from March 1-3 and has a margin of error of about 3 percentage points, according to Fox News. Related Stories: Fox Poll: Public Doesn’t Trust Obama to Fight Islamic Terrorists Ex-Green Beret: Think, And Act, Local in War on Muslim Extremists