So, Do You Feel Safer Yet?
If you don’t, you’re not alone. According to a just-released Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) poll, 70 percent disagree that “the threat of terrorism has been significantly reduced by the war”. This is up from just 43 percent who held this view in April. In addition, 56 percent disagree that “the war will result in greater peace and stability in the Middle East”, up from 32 percent in April.
And here’s another critical finding: the public overwhelmingly believes capturing Osama Bin Laden and breaking up al-Qaeda (75 percent) should be the central front in the war on terrorism, not capturing Saddam and establishing democracy in Iraq (21 percent). No wonder the public is becoming so worried about the costs and aims of our continuing occupation of Iraq: we’re not even aiming at the right target.
A couple of other interesting findings: the poll has Bush losing to an unnamed Democratic nominee for President, 48 percent to 42 percent. And the Democrats have a 6 point lead in party ID, pretty much their average lead for a number of years before September 11, 2001. This supports DR’s view that reported findings of parity in party ID between Democrats and Republicans were driven by post-September 11 surges in Bush’s popularity and do not accurately reflect the current situation.