Gary Langer reports: With terrorism fears near a post-9/11 high in a new ABC News-Washington Post poll, majorities of Americans back increased use of military force, including ground forces, against the Islamic State, and more than half oppose admitting Mideast refugees to the United States.
[Also see – Barack Obama: Worst. President. Ever.]
Seventy-three percent support increased U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and 60 percent back more ground forces, double the level of support for ground forces from summer 2014. One reason: Eighty-one percent see a major terrorist attack in the United States in the near future as likely, a level of anxiety that has been higher just once since 9/11.
Fifty-four percent oppose admitting refugees from Syria and other Mideast countries, while 43 percent are in favor. Opposition in part reflects skepticism about the U.S. government’s ability to screen out terrorists; 52 percent are dubious, and they’re especially likely to oppose entry.
That said, if refugees are admitted, an overwhelming 78 percent of Americans say all should be considered equally, without regard to their religion. Just 18 percent favor special consideration for Christians, proposed by Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz.
…Perhaps most fundamentally, 59 percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, say the United States is at war with radical Islam, which is little changed from a poll earlier this year but another indication of the public’s mindset in the post-9/11 world….
Fifty-four percent disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the threat of terrorism in general, up 9 points since January to the worst rating on terrorism of his career. Fifty-seven percent disapprove of his handling of the Islamic State in particular. “Strong” disapproval on both is quite high, 43 and 46 percent, respectively…
Fewer than half of Americans, 45 percent, are confident in the government’s ability to prevent further terrorist attacks in the United States. That’s near the average since 9/11, and helps explain the level of public concern about an attack occurring.
Not all views have changed substantially. In a Fox News poll of registered voters in January, 56 percent said they thought the United States was at war with radical Islam. A similar number says so now, 59 percent of all adults (and 60 percent of registered voters).
In terms of a response to the Paris attacks, 73 percent of Americans say the United States should play a role in military action against ISIS. Likely given the attacks’ locus on French soil, however, those who favor action say by more than 2-1 that the United States should take a supporting role in responding, not the leading role.
At 73 percent, support for increased U.S. air strikes against ISIS is similar to its level just more than a year ago, having risen sharply after the ISIS killings of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Fifty-two percent “strongly” support more air strikes, a continued high level. Read the rest of this entry »
No matter how hard Jeb tries he cannot distance himself from the name and legacy.
Edward Luce writes: Jeb’ll fix it” is the latest mantra of Jeb Bush’s flailing campaign. Whatever problem America faces, Florida’s former governor has the nous to solve it. Alas, Jeb’s reinvention as a regular Joe with a toilet plunger is unlikely to fix his own campaign. Just one in 25 Republican votersnow support him. Big donors are looking elsewhere. At some point, there will be autopsies. Proximate causes will leap out (his awkwardness on the stump would rank highly). Yet it is increasingly clear that his campaign was doomed before it began. No matter how hard Jeb tries to distance himself from the Bush name, it cannot match how far he needs to go.
Jeb’s quandary has been brought into sharp relief by Jon Meacham’s biography of his father, George Herbert Walker Bush. Destiny and Power is a fitting title for a patrician who took America’s reins just as it was sealing its cold war victory. Ask almost any student of diplomacy — American or foreign — and they agree that Bush 41’s presidency is underrated. The Soviet collapse could have turned nasty. Bush senior guided a peaceful lifting of the Iron Curtain and spurned the unanimous advice of aides to appear on the Berlin Wall as it was collapsing. He did not want to dance on the grave of Russia’s empire. Nor did he wish to hijack Germany’s moment. Read the rest of this entry »