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Washington Post-ABC News Poll: America at War

Monday, March 11, 2002

This Washington Post/ABC News poll was conducted by telephone March 7-10, 2002, among a random national sample of 1008 adults. The results have a 3-point error margin. Fieldwork by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

            ---------Approve---------   --------Disapprove--------    No 
            NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Strongly   Somewhat    opin.
3/10/02     82      52        30        16       7         9           2
1/27/02     83      56        27        14       7         7           3
12/19/01    86      64        22        12       6         6           2
11/27/01    89      69        21         9       5         4           1
11/6/01     89      65        24         9       4         5           2
10/9/01     92      76        16         6       3         3           1
9/27/01     90      70        20         6       3         3           4
9/13/01     86      63        23        12       6         5           2
9/9/01      55      26        29        41      22        20           3
8/12/01     61      28        33        31      17        14           8
7/30/01     59      28        30        38      22        17           3
6/3/01      55      27        28        40      22        18           6
4/22/01     63      33        30        32      16        16           5
3/25/01     58      NA        NA        33      NA        NA           8
2/25/01     55      NA        NA        23      NA        NA          22

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling the U.S. campaign against terrorism? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

             ---------Approve---------   --------Disapprove--------   No 
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Strongly   Somewhat    op.
3/10/02      88       64         24      10        5          5        2
1/27/02      88       NA         NA      10       NA         NA        2
12/19/01     89       67         22       9        5          4        2
10/15/01     92       75         17       5        3          3        3

3. Do you think the U.S. campaign against terrorism is going very well, fairly well, not too well or not well at all?

           ----------Well----------     --------Not well--------      No
           NET      Very     Fairly     NET     Not too   At all     opin. 
3/10/02    84        21        63       15        10        6          1
1/27/02    88        32        56       11         8        4          1

4. Do you support or oppose the U.S. military action in Afghanistan? Do you support/oppose this strongly or somewhat?

            ---------Support---------   ----------Oppose----------    No 
            NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Strongly   Somewhat    opin.
3/10/02     91       69         21       8        4          4         1
11/27/01    91       79         13       7        4          3         2
11/6/01     90       75         15       9        3          6         1
10/9/01*    92       76         16       6        4          2         1
10/7/01     94       83         11       4        2          2         2

*10/9/01 and previous: " . . . the U.S.-led air strikes on Afghanistan that began this week?"

5. Do you think the U.S. military action in Afghanistan is going very well, fairly well, not too well or not well at all?

           ----------Well----------     --------Not well--------      No
           NET      Very     Fairly     NET     Not too   At all     opin. 
3/10/02    85        24        61       14        10        3          1
11/27/01   93        42        51        5         3        2          2
11/6/01    85        23        62       12         8        4          3

6. In terms of U.S. military action in Afghanistan, do you think the most difficult part is (over), or do you think the most difficult part is (yet to come)?

             Over     Yet to come     No opin.     
3/10/02       18          80             2
12/19/01      17          80             2

7. Do you think the United States is heading for the same kind of involvement in Afghanistan as it had in the Vietnam war, or do you think the United States will avoid that kind of involvement this time?

            Another Vietnam      Will avoid that    No opin.
3/10/02          18                   77               5

For Comparison: Serbia
4/26/99          31                   65               4

For Comparison: Bosnia
11/29/95         33                   61               6

For comparison: Persian Gulf
4/3/91*           8                   89               3
1/20/91*         11                   86               3
12/5/90          32                   66               3
11/15/90         26                   69               5
9/9/90           18                   78               4
8/20/90          22                   74               4

*Wording change: "Persian Gulf" in place of "Middle East"

8. Do you think the United States is doing all it reasonably can do to try to avoid U.S. military casualties in Afghanistan, or do you think the United States should be doing more to avoid U.S. military casualties?

           US doing      US should      No
          all it can      do more      opin. 
3/10/02       81            18           1

9. How confident are you that the United States will capture or kill Osama Bin Laden: are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident or not at all confident?

        -------Confident-------  ------Not confident-----    Already            
                                                              dead    No 
         NET    Very   Somewhat   NET    Not too   At all    (vol.)   op.    
3/10/02   60     22       38      37        23       14         1      2
1/27/02   63     26       36      35        24       11         1      1
12/19/01  70     32       39      29        18       11        NA      1
11/6/01   73     28       45      26        17        9        NA      1
9/27/01   81     37       44      18        14        4        NA      1

10. Do you think (the United States has to capture or kill Osama bin Laden for the war on terrorism to be a success), or do you think (the war on terrorism can be a success without Osama bin Laden being killed or captured)?

             US must capture/      War can succeed       No 
              kill bin Laden      without bin Laden     opin. 
3/10/02             44                    53              4 
1/27/02             46                    51              3 
12/19/01            64                    34              2 
11/6/01             64                    30              6

11. How effective do you think the United States has been in terms of limiting Osama bin Laden's ability to maintain the Al Qaeda terrorist network - very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective or not effective at all?

           -------Effective-------     ------Not effective-----      No
           NET     Very   Somewhat     NET    Not too   At all      opin.    
3/10/02    82       30       52        16       12         4          2

12. Do you think it's worth risking a large number of U.S. military casualties in order to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, or not?

             Yes     No     No opin. 
3/10/02       44     54         3
11/27/01      60     34         6

13. What do you think should be a bigger focus of the campaign against terrorism - (trying to capture or kill Osama bin Laden specifically), or (trying to capture or kill members of the al Qaeda network in general)?

            Bin       Al       Both     Neither      No
           Laden     Qaeda    (vol.)    (vol.)      opin. 
3/10/02      22        63       11         3          2

14. Do you think the United States IS or IS NOT doing enough to win the support of its allies in the campaign against terrorism?

            Yes     No     No opin. 
3/10/02      72     23         6

15. In its anti-terrorism campaign, do you think the United States IS or IS NOT doing enough to win the support of Muslim people around the world?

            Yes     No     No opin. 
3/10/02      54     39         8
10/7/01      69     18        13

16. Do you support or oppose sending U.S. troops to try to help capture terrorists in other countries, such as the Philippines and Yemen?

           Support     Oppose     No opin. 
3/10/02       72         26           1

17. Would you favor or oppose having U.S. forces take military action against Iraq to force Saddam Hussein from power?

            ----------Favor----------   ----------Oppose----------    No 
            NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Strongly   Somewhat    opin.
3/10/02     72       NA        NA        24      NA         NA         4
2/21/02     67       46        21        30      12         18         4
1/27/02     71       NA        NA        24      NA         NA         4
12/19/01    72       NA        NA        24      NA         NA         5
11/27/01    78       NA        NA        17      NA         NA         6
10/11/94*   72       NA        NA        23      NA         NA         5
1/15/93**   82       NA        NA        15      NA         NA         3 
8/21/92 RV  65       NA        NA        30      NA         NA         5 
2/9/92      62       NA        NA        35      NA         NA         3
4/22/91     51       NA        NA        43      NA         NA         6
4/5/91      54       NA        NA        37      NA         NA         9
3/15/91     57       NA        NA        38      NA         NA         5

*10/11/94 and previous: Gallup
**1/15/93 and previous: Would you support or oppose having U.S. forces resume military action . . .?

18. (IF FAVOR) What if U.S. allies opposed such military action - in that case would you favor or oppose having U.S. forces take military action against Iraq?

           Favor     Oppose     No opin. 
3/10/02      77        21           3

17/18. Would you favor or oppose having U.S. forces take military action against Iraq to force Saddam Hussein from power? (IF FAVOR) What if U.S. allies opposed such military action - in that case would you favor or oppose having U.S. forces take military action against Iraq?

            ----------------FAVOR------------------
                    --------If allies oppose-------
            NET     Favor    Oppose     No op./Ref.     Oppose     No opin. 
3/10/02     72        55       15            2            24          4

19. How much confidence do you have in the ability of the U.S. government to prevent further terrorist attacks against Americans in this country: a great deal, a good amount, only a fair amount or none at all?

          --------Confident--------    -----Not confident----     No   
          NET   Grt.deal   Good amt.   NET   Fair amt.   None    opin.    
3/10/02    55      18         38        44      39         5      *       
1/27/02    57      18         40        42      37         6      1       
11/27/01   63      24         39        36      32         5      1       
11/6/01    52      17         35        47      40         7      1       
9/11/01    66      35         31        32      30         2      1       
6/2/97     35      10         26        62      52        10      3       
8/5/96     35      12         23        65      49        16      *       
5/14/95    36      12         24        63      51        12      1       
4/20/95    37      13         24        62      51        11      1       
6/28/93    59      22         37        41      32         8      1       
4/3/89     46      16         30        54      38        16      *

20. How concerned are you about the possibility there will be more major terrorist attacks in the United States - is that something that worries you a great deal, somewhat, not too much or not at all?

            ---------Concerned---------    -------Not concerned----    No      
            NET    Grt.deal    Somewhat    NET    Not much     None    op.    
3/10/02     70        23          47       30        21          9      1
12/19/01    70        27          43       29        22          8      1
10/15/01    77        35          43       23        14          9      0
10/9/01     82        36          46       18        12          6      *
10/7/01     81        41          40       18        13          4      1
9/27/01*    83        43          39       17        12          5      *
9/11/01     87        49          38       12         7          4      1
6/13/97     62        21          41       38        24         14      *
6/2/97      63        22          41       37        28          9      *
8/5/96      74        31          43       26        18          8      *
4/20/95     78        38          40       21        16          5      1

9/27/01 and previous: "How concerned are you about the possibility there will be more major terrorist attacks in this country."

21. Do you think the United States is doing all it reasonably can do to try to prevent further terrorist attacks, or do you think it should do more?

              US doing      US should      No
             all it can      do more      opin.
3/10/02          66            33          1
12/19/01         59            40          1
11/27/01         62            36          1
11/6/01          56            43          2
10/15/01         68            29          3
10/9/01          71            27          2

22. On another subject, do you think the events of September 11th have changed this country in a lasting way, or not?

            Yes     No     No opin.
3/10/02      86     13        1   
12/19/01     91      8        1

23. (IF CHANGED) Is it a change for the better or a change for the worse?

            Better     Worse     No opin. 
3/10/02       78         18          4
12/19/01      69         27          4

24. How about your own personal life - have the events of September 11th changed your own personal life in a lasting way, or not?

            Yes     No     No opin.
3/10/02      57     43        *
12/19/01     55     45        *

25. (IF CHANGED) Have they mainly changed the way you (live your day-to- day life), or mainly changed the way you (feel about things)?

            Way you     Way you      No 
             live        feel       opin.
3/10/02       24          73         2
12/19/01      25          72         3

26. (IF CHANGED) Is it a change for the better or a change for the worse?

            Better     Worse     No opin. 
3/10/02       73         24         3 
12/19/01      71         28         2 

27. How proud are you to be an American - extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud, or not at all proud?

           -----More proud-----              -----Less proud----      No
           NET     Ext.    Very     Mod.     NET     Lit.    Not     opin.  
3/10/02    92       74       18      5       3        2       1        *
1/14/01*   87       55       32      9       2        1       1        2      
*Gallup

28. Are you displaying an American flag on a daily basis these days - either at your home, on your car or anywhere else - or not?

            Yes     No     No opin.
3/10/02      65     35        *

29. (IF YES) Did you start displaying the flag on a daily basis after September 11th, or were you doing it before then?

           After 9/11     Before 9/11     No opin. 
3/10/02        62             38              0 

28/29. Are you displaying an American flag on a daily basis these days - either at your home, on your car or anywhere else - or not? IF YES) Did you start displaying the flag on a daily basis after September 11th, or were you doing it before then?

            -----------Displaying flag-------------      No       No           
            NET     After     Before     No op./Ref     flag     opin.
3/10/02     65        40        25             0         35        *

© Copyright 2002 The Washington Post Company


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