The new Secretary of Homeland Security may have just been formally nominated, but the public expects his job will soon get even tougher. A large majority thinks another major terrorist attack will happen in the near future, and protecting the country from terrorism is seen as an equally important job as helping the economy recover.

A new FOX News poll, conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation, finds that 76 percent of the public think another terrorist attack is likely soon (37 percent say very likely).  This is up slightly from October 2001, less than a month after the September 11 attacks, when 71 percent said more attacks were likely. 

"The attacks in Kenya and the continuous warnings in other parts of the world are clearly causing people more concern," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman.  "I think one of the questions going forward is how patient people are going to be about the threat of terrorism.  Will they accept a kind of 'Cold War' against terrorism where the threat is all present or will they start to demand action to end the fear."

Showing a somewhat cynical view of Washington, more Americans think the newly created Department of Homeland Security will lead to increased bureaucracy than to increased safety from terrorism.  Fewer than one-third (30 percent) see the new agency helping make the United States safer, while 39 percent see it as more red tape in Washington. 

Almost four times as many Americans approve of the nomination of former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to be secretary of the new department as disapprove (41 percent to 11 percent), but almost half of the public (48 percent) had no opinion of the nomination.

On the newly created commission to investigate how the September 11 terrorists were able to attack, the public is divided on whether the independent panel will uncover new information (42 percent) or whether everything is already known (43 percent).  A majority approves (56 percent) of the appointment of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to head the 9/11 commission, while 22 percent disapprove and 22 percent are unsure.

President Bush's handling of the war on terror continues to receive positive marks.  Two-thirds of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing handling terrorism and 22 percent disapprove.  While Bush's approval rating on handling terrorism is strong, it is down 4 percentage points since late September and down 23 percentage points since the beginning of the year when this rating was at a high of 89 percent.

As has been the case in the past, Bush's ratings on handling terrorism are higher than for managing the economy.  Just under half approve (47 percent) and 40 percent disapprove of Bush's job performance managing the economy.  When asked which of these two competing priorities is more important for the government to work on right now, 24 percent say terrorism and 22 percent say the economy, but 51 percent are unable to choose and volunteer the response "both."

Overall, 65 percent approve of the job Bush is doing as president (24 percent disapprove).  His highest marks come from Republicans (89 percent), high-income groups (71 percent), men (68 percent), and those living in the South (76 percent). 

Iraq Will Fail to Disclose Weapons

A strong majority of Americans expect Iraq will violate the United Nations resolution by missing the December 8 deadline to disclose its weapons programs. 

This week's FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows that only 14 percent of Americans think Iraq will fully disclose information on its weapons by this weekend, while over three-quarters think Iraq will fail to meet the deadline.  A smaller majority (57 percent) says that if Iraq misses the deadline, that violation is enough to require the United Nations to support U.S. military action against Saddam.

Many believe (73 percent) that if Iraq has or obtains nuclear weapons that the United States would be a target.

Americans say that Iraq is a topic that comes up often with friends and neighbors these days.  More than any other issues, Iraq and the war on terror are frequent topics for 29 percent, followed closely by the economy and the stock market (25 percent).

Polling was conducted by telephone December 3-4, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. Results are of registered voters, unless otherwise noted. LV = likely voters

I'm going to read the names of some people. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each. If you've never heard of one, please just say so. (RANDOMIZE)
SCALE: 1. Favorable 2. Unfavorable 3. (Not sure) 4. Never heard of

1. George W. Bush

  Favorable Unfavorable Can't say Never heard
3-4 Dec 02 65% 27 8 -
22-23 Oct 02 LV 62% 31 7 -
6-7 Aug 02 72% 22 6 -
4-5 Jun 02 69% 19 12 -
14-15 May 02 77% 17 6 -
16-17 Apr 02 75% 19 6 -
2-3 Apr 02 79% 15 6 -
12-13 Feb 02 81% 13 6 -
30-31 Jan 02 75% 17 8 -

2. Al Gore

  Favorable Unfavorable Can't say Never heard
3-4 Dec 02 42% 45 13 -
22-23 Oct 02 LV 37% 50 13 -
6-7 Aug 02 51% 38 11 -
16-17 Apr 02 44% 44 11 1
12-13 Dec 01 47% 40 13 -

3. Dick Cheney

  Favorable Unfavorable Can't say Never heard
3-4 Dec 02 57% 22 18 3
6-7 Aug 02 60% 25 12 3
30-31 Jan 02 59% 20 16 5
22-23 Aug 01 57% 27 14 2
11-12 Jul 01 65% 21 12 2

4. Bill Clinton

  Favorable Unfavorable Can't say Never heard
3-4 Dec 02 42% 50 8 -
12-13 Feb 02 45% 47 7 1
12-13 Dec 01 42% 50 8 -
25-26 Jul 01 42% 51 7 -
18-19 Apr 01 40% 54 6 -

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?

  Approve Disapprove (DK)
3-4 Dec 02 65% 24 11
19-20 Nov 02 68% 20 12
22-23 Oct 02 LV 60% 30 10
8-9 Oct 02 LV 66% 21 13
24-25 Sep 02 65% 25 10
8-9 Sep 02 66% 22 12
6-7 Aug 02 69% 20 11
23-24 Jul 02 69% 18 13
9-10 Jul 02 70% 19 11
18-19 Jun 02 73% 14 13
4-5 Jun 02 74% 15 11
14-15 May 02 77% 15 8

6. Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Bush is doing handling terrorism?

  Approve Disapprove (DK)
3-4 Dec 02 66% 22 12
24-25 Sep 02 70% 23 7
23-24 Jul 02 77% 17 6
4-5 Jun 02 73% 18 9
30 Apr-1 May 02 78% 16 6
12-13 Mar 02 84% 9 7
9-10 Jan 02 89% 6 5
18-19 Oct 01* 89% 7 4
4-5 Oct 01* 86% 7 7
20-21 Sep 01* 88% 8 4

* Wording: "responding to the terrorist attacks"

7. Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Bush is doing managing the economy?

  Approve Disapprove (DK)
3-4 Dec 02 47% 40 13
24-25 Sep 02 52% 36 12
23-24 Jul 02 55% 37 8
4-5 Jun 02 62% 28 10
30 Apr-1 May 02 64% 29 7
9-10 Jan 02 59% 27 14
6-7 Jun 01 52% 29 19
28-29 Mar 01 52% 27 21

8. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Dick Cheney is doing as vice-president?

  Approve Disapprove (DK)
3-4 Dec 02 53% 23 24
28-29 Nov 01 73% 10 17
14-15 Mar 01 54% 11 35

9. In your everyday conversations with friends and neighbors, what topic would you say comes up most often these days? (OPEN ENDED)

  3-4 Dec 02 24-25 Sep 02 18-19 Jun 02
The economy 22% 9% 5%
9/11 /Terrorism/War on Terror 16 12 19
Iraq/Saddam Hussein 13 13 -
Family issues 7 5 7
Work/jobs/employment 6 3 3
Politics/political issues 4 5 5
Education/schools 3 3 2
Local issues 3 1 2
Sports 3 2 5
Stock market/finances/money 3 2 2
Current events/world news 2 3 6
Weather 2 2 3
Health Care 2 2 2
Middle East 1 2 3
Religion/Bible 1 1 2
Taxes 1 1 2
Elderly/Social Security 1 - 1
Drugs/crime - 1 1
Catholic Church problems - - 7
Other/Nothing 6 5 6
(DK/ref) 4 28 17

10. Which do you think is more important for the government to work on right now -- (helping the economy recover) or (protecting the country from terrorism)? (ROTATE CHOICES)

1. Helping the economy recover 22%
2. Protecting the country from terrorism 24
3. (Both) 51
4. (Neither) 1
5. (Not sure) 2

11. How likely do you think it is that another terrorist attack causing large numbers of American lives to be lost will happen in the near future?
SCALE: 1. Very likely 2. Somewhat likely 3. Not very likely 4. Not likely at all 5. (Not sure)

  Vry Smwht Ntvry Not (Not sure)
3-4 Dec 02 37% 39 13 4 7
30 Apr-1 May 02 33% 43 14 5 5
12-13 Feb 02 28% 45 18 5 4
3-4 Oct 01 33% 38 16 6 7

12. If another terrorist attack were to happen in the United States and cause large numbers of American lives to be lost, would you favor or oppose a military retaliation on the home country of the terrorists?

1. Favor 72%
2. Oppose 11
3. (Not sure) 17

13. Do you think the recently created Department of Homeland Security will make the United States safer from terrorism or will it mostly increase Washington bureaucracy?

1. Make the U.S. safer 30%
2. Increase bureaucracy 39
3. (Some of both) 13
4. (Neither) 3
5. (Not sure) 15

14. Do you approve or disapprove of the nomination of former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to be the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security?

1. Approve 41%
2. Disapprove 11
3. (Not sure) 48

15. Do you think the recently created independent commission to investigate how terrorists were able to strike on September 11 will come up with new information, or is everything already pretty much known?

1. Will be new information 42%
2. Everything is already known 43
3. (Not sure) 15

16. Do you approve or disapprove of the selection of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to head the commission investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks?

1. Approve 56%
2. Disapprove 22
3. (Not sure) 22

17. If Iraq has or if it were to obtain nuclear weapons, do you believe Iraq would attempt to use them against the United States?

  Yes No (Not sure)
3-4 Dec 02 73% 17 10
8-9 Sep 02 76% 16 8

18. The United Nations resolution on Iraq requires full disclosure of all weapons programs by December 8. Do you think Iraq will meet the deadline and disclose all of its weapons programs?

1. Yes 14%
2. No 77
3. (Not sure) 9

19. If Iraq fails to meet the December 8 deadline, do you think that violation is enough to require the United Nations to support U.S. military action against Iraq?

1. Yes 57%
2. No 27
3. (Not sure) 16

20. The British government has released a document that accuses Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of using torture, rape and terror to oppress the Iraqi people. Do you think these charges of human rights violations are enough to require the United Nations to support U.S. military action against Iraq?

1. Yes 50%
2. No 34
3. (Not sure) 16

How concerned are you about each of the following?
SCALE: 1. Very concerned 2. Somewhat concerned 3. Not very concerned

21. Terrorist attacks

  Vry Smwt Ntvy Not (NS)
3-4 Dec 02 40% 40 14 4 2
22-23 Oct 02 LV 53% 35 8 3 1

22. Smallpox attacks by terrorists

  Vry Smwt Ntvy Not (NS)
3-4 Dec 02 29% 37 22 8 4
22-23 Oct 02 LV 33% 35 21 9 2

23. The nation's economy

  Vry Smwt Ntvy Not (NS)
3-4 Dec 02 50% 36 9 4 1
22-23 Oct 02 LV 58% 32 7 2 1

24. The stock market

  Vry Smwt Ntvy Not (NS)
3-4 Dec 02 35% 36 13 12 4
22-23 Oct 02 LV 42% 33 14 7 4

25. Even though there are some risks involved with taking the smallpox vaccine, the government may offer vaccinations to protect Americans in case of a bio-terrorism attack. If a smallpox vaccination were offered to you, would you take the shot or not?

1. Yes 59%
2. No/(Not sure) 41