As September 11 approaches, a new Fox News national poll finds that nearly 4 voters in 10 (38 percent) feel the United States is less safe today than before the terrorist attacks 12 years ago.  That’s up five percentage points from 2011 (the last time this question was asked), and is the highest number saying the country is less safe in a Fox News poll. 

Just 23 percent felt less safe in 2004 (the first time this question was asked).

The new poll also shows a slim 51-percent majority thinks the U.S. is safer today.  That’s down from 54 percent who felt the country was safer in 2011, and down from a high of 58 percent in 2004.

Just 38 percent of Republicans say the U.S. is safer today, which represents a substantial drop from 60 percent who felt that way in 2011. 

The decline among independents is much smaller: 47 percent say the country is safer now, down from 52 percent two years ago.

Sentiment among Democrats has gone in the opposite direction: 64 percent feel the country is safer today, up from 50 percent in the 2011 poll. 

Meanwhile, by a 48-45 percent margin, more voters approve than disapprove of the job President Obama is doing handling terrorism. 

This is the only issue area in which the president receives positive ratings.  Even so, his current 48 percent approval on terrorism makes this a new low approval for him on the issue.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 900 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from September 6-8, 2013.  The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.