Over half of Americans think it is likely that a terrorist attack will take place over the July 4th holiday, but few people say they will change plans due to the threat.
In the latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll, just over half of respondents say they think a terrorist attacks is likely over July 4th (11 percent "very likely" and 44 percent "somewhat likely"), while 38 percent think an attack is unlikely.
When asked if plans to celebrate the summer holiday had changed because of the threat of an attack, almost all Americans (95 percent) said they weren't changing their plans. Less than five percent have either changed or expect to change plans in response to possible terrorist activity.
"These two results-taken together-point to the development of a sort of new American vigilance. On the one hand, we’re far more realistic than we used to be about the likelihood of terrorist attacks; on the other hand, we are refusing to allow those threats to materially alter our lives," stated Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.
Most people say they will feel comfortable attending public events over July 4th in their hometown (88 percent), but fewer say they would feel comfortable going to large-scale events in New York City (55 percent) and even fewer in Washington, DC (52 percent). Just over one-third of Americans say they would be uncomfortable attending public events in New York (36 percent uncomfortable) and Washington, DC (38 percent).
Experiencing nine months without a terrorist attack makes about half of the public (51 percent) feel less afraid because it seems as though preventative measures are working. Others (16 percent) feel more afraid as time goes by because they think that means the country is probably due for another attack soon.
And despite occasional false alarms, the public appreciates the government's terror alerts. Most Americans (72 percent) think the alerts are still useful while 16 percent say the alerts are getting to be like "the boy who cried wolf."
Finally, a majority of Americans thinks life will never completely return to pre-9/11 normalcy. While 10 percent think life already has returned to normal and an optimistic 25 percent think it will eventually, fully 62 percent think life in the U.S. has been changed forever.
Polling was conducted by telephone June 26-27, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.
1. Do you think the United States is the world's most dominant power or is another country more powerful?
2. [If "Other Country" n=45] Specifically, which one other country did you have in mind? [Do Not Read]
3. Overall, would you say you generally trust the federal government, or not?
4. Who do you trust more — Congress or Wall Street?
5. How much confidence do you have in the federal government in deciding when to use weapons of mass destruction — a lot, some, not much, or no confidence at all?
6. If the United States were to use weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons, on a "first strike" basis, would you trust the government to decide when to make a first strike or would you want the government to give proof, in advance, that a first strike was really necessary?
7. How likely do you think it is that a terrorist attack will take place in the United States over the July 4th holiday — very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all?
8. Have you changed or do you expect to change your July 4th plans because of the threat of a terrorist attack that day?
Over the Fourth of July holiday, do you think you would feel comfortable or uncomfortable attending public events in:
SCALE: 1. Comfortable 2. Uncomfortable 3. (Depends) 4. (Don't know)
Do you think Americans are more < . . . > today than they were before September 11?
SCALE: 1. Yes 2. No 3. (Don't know/Refused)
16. Do you think life in the United States will ever completely return to normal, that is, the way it was before 9/11?
17. It has been months since the terrorist attacks. Does that make you feel more afraid because that means another attack may happen soon, or less afraid because that means preventative measures are stopping additional attacks?
18. Do you think the terror alerts are getting to be like "the boy who cried wolf," or do you think the alerts are still useful even if there are false alarms?
19. Do you think American Muslims support the United States in the war on terror, or not?