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Gallup: Satisfaction with Security from Terrorism at 43% -- 8% Lower Than Four Months After 9/11

By Michael Morris | January 19, 2016 | 5:57pm EST
(AP Photo)

American satisfaction with security from terrorism and military strength and preparedness has fallen significantly in the last year, with 16 percent fewer Americans saying they are satisfied with security from terrorism and 10 percent fewer Americans saying they are satisfied with the nation’s military strength and preparedness.

“More than two-thirds, 69%, said in 2014 that they were satisfied with the nation’s security from terrorism, but that figure dropped to 59% a year ago and now has fallen to 43%,” says Gallup.

According to Gallup, “The prior low point in satisfaction with security from terrorism was 51%, measured in January 2002, four months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Satisfaction remained at the majority level through 2008.”

In 2016, 55 percent (55%) of Americans surveyed responded that they are dissatisfied with the nation’s security from terrorism, compared to 47 percent (47%) in January 2002.

The recent slide puts the percentage satisfied with the nation’s security from terrorism lower than four other dimensions in Gallup’s Mood of the Nation poll: acceptance of gays and lesbians (60%), military strength and preparedness (59%), quality of medical care (53%) and quality of the environment (53%).

Gallup did not ask the question regarding satisfaction with security from terrorism from 2009 through 2011, but resumed in January 2012. That year, satisfaction reached a high point at 72 percent (72%).

“Declines in satisfaction over the last two years dovetail with the rise of the terrorism-sponsoring Islamic State group, or ISIS,” says Gallup. “Terrorist attacks linked to ISIS late last year in Paris and San Bernardino, California, weakened Americans' trust in the government's ability to protect its citizens and pushed 'terrorism' to the forefront of the nation's most important problems.”

Falling 10 percent (10%) since January 2015, Americans’ satisfaction with the nation’s military strength and preparedness has dropped from 69 percent (69%) to 59 percent (59%) in 2016.

So, what’s the bottom line?

“Americans’ views on what the U.S. should do to combat terrorism will heavily influence both the presidential and congressional elections this fall, and the election results could profoundly affect the outcome of the daunting national security challenges now facing this country,” says Gallup.

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