Poll: Confidence in Anti-Terror Response Drops

But the belief that the United States is doing all it can to prevent further terrorist attacks is down most steeply among Republicans (-18 points), followed by Independents (-13). It's fallen by eight points among Democrats, who nonetheless are still the most likely to say the country should be doing more.

U.S. Safer From the Terror Threat?
  Aug. 2005 2004
All   49%   67%
Democrats   32   55
Republicans   75   84
Independents   47   65

U.S. Doing All It Can?
  Aug. 2005 2004
All   43%   56%
Democrats   36   44
Republicans   55   73
Independents   42   55

What If … ?

While confidence in the federal government's ability to respond effectively to a nuclear or radiological attack is down steeply (with a very sharp partisan difference), faith in local entities has held steadier since Katrina (with much less partisanship). Seventy percent are confident in the ability of their local hospitals and health care officials to respond to this kind of attack; it was 76 percent in August. And 59 percent are confident in their local government and police, compared to 66 percent in August. Far fewer, however, are "very" confident of an effective response from any of these.

An effective response to this type of an attack may be crucial, since nearly three-quarters of Americans say most people they know would panic if a "dirty bomb" went off. Other kinds of attacks would also engender fear: Three-quarters think that panic would ensue in the case of a local chemical or biological attack; fewer but still a majority, 52 percent, say people would panic if a car bomb or suicide bomber struck in their area.

Methodology

This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Aug. 18-21, 2005, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa., with some questions repeated in telephone interviews Sept. 28 - Oct. 2, 2005, among a random national sample of 1,014 adults, by ICR-International Communications Research of Media, Pa. Results have a three-point error margin.

Click here for PDF version with full questionnaire and results.

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