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Many Americans Believe Terrorists Are Winning


Raul Rodriguez Jr., left, of America First Latinos protests against the Islamic State group ahead of President Barack Obama's visit with the families of shooting victims in San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon)

Raul Rodriguez Jr., left, of America First Latinos protests against the Islamic State group ahead of President Barack Obama's visit with the families of shooting victims in San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon)


A new public opinion survey shows many Americans are not satisfied with the government’s efforts to fight terrorism.

Forty percent of those asked said they believe terrorists are winning their fight against the United States.

The study by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation was released on Monday, weeks after deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

Almost three-quarters of those asked criticized efforts by the administration of President Barack Obama to fight terrorists. In 2007, 61 percent of those asked were critical of the anti-terror efforts of then-President George W. Bush. Obama is a Democrat. Bush is a Republican.

The survey showed 55 percent of members of the Republican party believe Islamist militants are winning. Fifty-two percent of Democrats believe neither side is winning.

Almost 60 percent of Democrats asked said they were not happy with Obama’s efforts. Seventy-nine percent of independents and 86 percent of Republicans said they were unhappy with the president’s anti-terrorism activities.

ORC spoke to 1,018 adult Americans in the middle of December. Almost all of them were registered voters.

Forty-nine percent of those asked said they support sending American troops to fight Islamic State militants who now control large parts of Syria and northern and western Iraq. In the days after the attack in San Bernardino, a similar study showed 53 percent support for sending ground troops to fight the terrorists.

Americans disagree about what to call the strikes. Fifty-seven percent said the country is involved in a “military conflict.” Forty percent said it should be called a “war.” This level of disagreement is almost exactly the same as in September 2014.

Several recent public opinion polls have shown that Americans are more worried about security than the economy.

I’m Christopher Jones-Cruise.

VOANews.com reported this story. We also used reporting by CNN. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted it into VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

registered – adj. having your name entered in an official list, such as a list of voters

poll – n. an activity in which several or many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to get information about what most people think about something

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