Majority Thinks U.S. Is Winning War Against Terrorism

On the second anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many Americans think the United States is winning the war against terrorism. At the same time, more today say they are worried an attack might happen near them than said so last September, and almost half think it is likely that terrorists live in their hometown.

According to the latest FOX News national poll, 55 percent of Americans think the United States is winning the war against terrorism — up from 36 percent one year ago. Even so, half say the reason there have been no additional attacks since 9/11 is due more to terrorists still "planning" future attacks rather than because "government security measures are working" (32 percent).

The poll, conducted September 9-10 by Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search), finds that 32 percent of Americans are worried about a terrorist attack happening near their home or work place, up 12 percentage points from one year ago. Similarly, about a third think their life or the life of a family member is in danger due to terrorism.

Women, moms, minorities and those living in the Northeast are the most likely to say they are worried about an attack.

"It is clear on this anniversary, that many Americans are still very concerned about more terrorist attacks," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman (search). "The sheer complexity of the issue with many groups and countries involved makes it harder for people to associate 'winning the war' with a sense of personal safety."

Overall, while more are worried an attack might happen near their home, fewer now think terrorists live in their city. Today, 47 percent think it is likely there are terrorists living in their hometown, down from 58 percent last summer (June 2002).

Most Americans expect the war against terrorism to last a long time. Only 18 percent think it will last five years or less, with 16 percent saying six to 10 years, 24 percent more than 10 years and 34 percent saying "forever."

Polling was conducted by telephone September 9-10, 2003 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.

1. As of right now, do you think the U.S. and its allies are winning the war against terrorism?

2. Do you think an absence of additional terrorist attacks in the United States is because the government security measures are working or because terrorist organizations are waiting and planning what to do?

3. How worried are you that terrorist attacks might take place where you live or work?
SCALE: 1. Very worried 2. Somewhat worried 3. Not very worried 4. Not worried at all 5. (Not sure)

4. How likely do you think it is that there are terrorists living in your city or hometown?
SCALE: 1. Very likely 2. Somewhat likely 3. Not very likely 4. Not at all likely 5. (Not sure)

5. Do you think your life or the life of a family member is in danger due to terrorism?

For reference: Do you think your life is in danger due to terrorism?

6. How long do you think the war against terrorists will last?