Seven years after the events of September 11, eight out of 10 Americans — 81 percent —believe the war on terrorism is at least as important today as it was just after the attacks.
Yet, while 72 percent of voters say they are concerned about terrorist attacks, those worries now rank behind other issues troubling voters, such as the nation’s economy and gas prices.
The national telephone poll was conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from Sept. 8 to Sept. 9. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
Half of voters — down slightly from two years ago by 3 percentage points — said the war against terrorism is just as important today as it was seven years ago. More than three in 10 voters (31 percent) think the war is more important now than it ever was, and 18 percent believe it is less important.
• Raw Data: Click here to view the full results of the poll. (pdf)
These results are fairly consistent across party lines. Democrats (23 percent) are slightly more likely to say the war on terrorism is less important today than Republicans (13 percent) and independents (17 percent). Similarly, by an 11-point margin Republicans are more inclined than Democrats to say the war is equally as important.
While it may seem the threat of terrorist attacks is foremost on the minds of Americans, it falls behind other concerns such as the nation’s economy (93 percent concerned), gas prices (87 percent concerned), the situation in Iraq (87 percent concerned), and the decline of moral values (76 percent concerned).
If a terrorist attack were to occur, more than half of Americans — 55 percent — would feel more comfortable with McCain in the Oval office. Thirty-five percent would prefer Obama.
Among Republican Party faithful, the response to this question is strong for McCain, with 92 percent saying they favor the war veteran if an attack occurred.
Party affiliation is not as much as a determinant for Democrats on this question: 69 percent say they would want Obama in office in the case of an attack, while 18 percent of Democrats would choose McCain.
Undecided voters — those who have not decided yet whether they will be supporting Obama or McCain — break 61 percent for McCain to 13 percent for Obama.
Who do voters trust more to handle the war on terrorism? By a 20-point margin the results favor McCain - 55 percent to 35 percent for Obama. These results are nearly unchanged from one month ago (19-20 August 2008.)
Republicans chose the Arizona senator by an overwhelming 90 percent to 6 percent, and independents too went for McCain 62 percent to 25 percent. Democrats trust Obama more to handle the war on terrorism by a 45- point margin — 67 percent to 22 percent.