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Contrary to the pablum that the White House has been spoon-feeding the public for nearly eight years, Americans are more concerned about an imminent threat of terrorism now than they have been since 2003.
Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, Chattanooga, Garland, Texas, San Bernardino and now Orlando have taken their toll. Al-Qaida is not on the run and the Islamic State is not a JayVee team.
A full 71 percent of respondents to a CNN/ORC poll conducted after the Orlando bloodbath say that another act of terror is either very or somewhat likely to occur in the United States in the next several weeks.
The last time the concern was this high was during the opening days of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Americans’ concerns about domestic terror are more focused on so-called “lone-wolf” attacks carried out by individuals who say they have been inspired by a terrorist group rather than attacks organized and supported by terrorist groups themselves.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say individual attacks are a greater threat than attacks organized by terrorist groups, just 23% see organized attacks as the bigger threat. Although majorities across party lines agree that lone-wolf attacks are a bigger danger than organized ones, Republicans are a bit less likely to say individual attacks are the larger threat. Among Republicans, 68% see individual attacks as a bigger threat vs. 75% each among Democrats and independents.
Not surprisingly, President Obama has negative approval ratings for handling terrorist threats, although since December they’ve inched slightly upward.
His approval rating for handling terrorism overall (42 percent) is a bit higher than his rating for dealing with the Islamic State (38 percent). Sixty percent of the poll’s respondents disapprove of the president’s handling of the Islamic State; 56 percent disapprove of his handling of terrorism.
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