I LOVE IT WHEN YOU POLL ME. There are some interesting results in the new AP/Ipsos poll (PDF). Only a bit over 40 percent of Americans worry about "becoming a victim of terrorism," and the vast majority say they do so only "occasionally" (hell, living in D.C., I'd fit into that category too). That's compared to 56 percent who simply don't fret over the prospect. And only 25 percent think D.C. and New York are more dangerous vacation destinations than before 9-11, while 14 percent think they're safer.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans approve of the way Bush has handled terrorism, a stat that makes me think he's not been as successful at connecting Iraq to terror as he had originally hoped. Indeed, when an interviewer asked him last week what Iraq had to do with 9-11, he said "nothing," an admission by the administration that Iraq is now so unpopular that linking the two would poison public feelings on Bush's terrorism chops, not lighten attitudes towards Iraq. All that said, Democrats now enjoy a seven percent advantage on protecting the country (and, if you constrain the results to D.C. and New York, the two at-risk cities give them 17 and 25 percent advantage respectively), a finding which may connect to the majority who say they're not confident the government will ever capture or kill Osama.
Seventy-four percent of Americans have at least considered that the cost of fighting terrorism is simply too high, while 64 percent have wondered if the terrorists are "winning the war on terrorism" and 60 percent are embarrassed by America's image in the world. Sixty percent think our invasion of Iraq will generate more terrorism.
Party ID was standard in the poll -- 27 percent of voters considered themselves Republican, 35 percent Democrat, and 22 percent Independent. What was interesting was that a few more Democrats were "strongly" Democratic than Republican were "strongly" Republican, while more conservatives were "very conservative" than liberals were "very liberal." Whatever the ID and whatever the leanings, though, it doesn't take a genius to see that these are bad numbers for the right. Even after the London plot, Americans aren't particularly fearful, and they're surprisingly disinclined to trust the GOP to keep them safe. Time for another Orange Alert, I guess...