Poll: Bush Approval Rating 92 Percent

ByABC News
October 10, 2001, 3:50 PM

Oct. 10 -- Americans are putting a brave face on the uncertainties of war, voicing record levels of support for the president; endorsing further, broader military action; and even expressing majority confidence that the nation could deal with a chemical or biological attack.

George W. Bush's job approval rating soared to 92 percent in this poll, the highest on record in ABCNEWS polls, and Gallup polls before them, dating to the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Seventy-six percent approve "strongly" of Bush's performance.

While jitters exist, their intensity has eased. Thirty-six percent express a "great deal" of worry about more major terrorist attacks but that's down from 49 percent the night of Sept. 11. Thirty-seven percent express high-level anxiety specifically about a biological or chemical attack.

While high-level concern has moderated, people aren't in denial: Eight in 10 do express worry about more attacks, if not necessarily a "great deal" of worry. But that has not increased lately. Despite the airstrikes on Afghanistan and news coverage of two cases of anthrax exposure in Florida, the public is keeping reasonably cool.

In a more personal gauge, 44 percent are worried that they, or a close relative or friend, might be the victim of a further terrorist attack. Again, though, this has not increased since the night of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Worries on these issues tend to run higher among women than among men. Fifty-four percent of women express worry that they or a loved one might be the victim of a terror attack; this falls to 33 percent of men. And 44 percent of women express a "great deal" of concern about further terrorism, compared to 28 percent of men.

Readiness Three gauges show the extent to which the public has placed its trust in the hands of government. First, seven in 10 Americans now say the country is "doing all it reasonably can do" to try to prevent further terrorism a reversal from the majority view that government could have done more to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.