NEW YORK – On this fourth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Americans acknowledge the war on terrorism will be a part of life for a long time, with the widely held perception being the war will not be over in their lifetime. Even so, a majority says they are not worried about future attacks happening in their area, according to a FOX News poll.
About a quarter of Americans (24 percent) think they will see the end of the war against terrorism, while 62 percent say "not in my lifetime," and another 7 percent voluntarily respond that the war "will last forever." Bush voters are twice as likely as Kerry voters to think they will see the war on terrorism won and over.
Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search) conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News on August 30-31, before the extent of Gulf Coast (search) devastation due to Hurricane Katrina was fully apparent. In addition, for this survey no interviews were completed in Louisiana but instead were replaced with calls in nearby states. Similarly, while some interviews were completed in Mississippi, two-thirds of that state's calls were completed in other states from the region.
Concern about future terrorist attacks remains relatively stable. Today, 38 percent of voters say they are worried about attacks and 59 percent are not, which is not significantly different from findings in a FOX News poll taken soon after the 2001 attacks. At that time 35 percent said they were worried terrorist attacks might take place where they live or work and 64 percent said they were not (September 19-20, 2001).
Worried About Terrorist Attacks
The number saying they are worried about attacks has been as high as 43 percent (October 2001) and as low as 20 percent (September 2002).
Regionally, those living in the Northeast and the South are most likely to say they are worried about future attacks (more than 4 in 10), while those living in the West are most likely to say they are not worried (more than 7 in 10).
Looking at other demographic groups, women are 12 percentage points more likely than men (44 percent and 32 percent), and Democrats are 18 points more likely than Republicans to say they are worried.
The poll also finds a 61-percent majority says they are confident that U.S. intelligence agencies have improved their procedures and will be able to prevent attacks like 9/11 in the future.
"Since this survey was completed before much of the criticism of government response to Katrina, it is possible that that criticism will weaken these numbers," comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "If people believe FEMA has failed to develop adequate response capabilities since 9/11, it becomes more likely that they will doubt whether other agencies have made improvements."
9/11: The Movie
A sizable minority is displeased that Hollywood is making movies based on the September 11 attacks, though more than half of Americans say they have no problem with it.
Among groups, women are sharply divided: 44 percent have a problem with movies based on the attacks and 47 percent do not. Men are twice as likely to say they are okay as to say they have a problem with 9/11 movies (62 percent and 31 percent respectively). Young people are the most accepting, with more than 7 in 10 saying they are fine with the films.