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Post-ABC Poll: Terrorist Attacks

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on telephone interviews with 608 randomly selected adults nationwide and was conducted Tuesday evening, September 11. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Results of overnight polls that attempt to measure opinions about fast-changing news events should be interpreted with extra caution. Interviewing was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. As you have probably heard, apparent terrorist attacks today destroyed the World Trade Towers in New York City, damaged the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and caused a plane crash in Pennsylvania. Apparently these attacks were carried out by terrorists who hijacked commercial airplanes.

Do you think the United States government did all it reasonably could do to try to prevent these attacks, or do you think it could have done more?

               US did           US could         No
            all it could     have done more     opin.
9/11/01          43                44            13

2. 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.    
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      *

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

           ----------Worried----------    --------Not worried-----     No      
           NET    Grt.deal    Somewhat    NET    Not much     None    opin.    
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

4. Are you personally worried that you or a close relative or friend might be the victim of a further terrorist attack in this country, or is that something you're not especially worried about?

           Worried    Not worried    No opinion
9/11/01      47           52             1
6/2/97       21           78             1
8/5/96       29           71             *
5/14/95      25           75             x
4/20/95      32           67             1
6/28/93       9           91             *

5. How concerned are you about the possibility there will be a major terrorist attack in your own community where you live - is that something that worries you a great deal, somewhat, not too much, or not at all?

           ----------Worried----------    ------Not Worried-------    No      
           NET    Grt.deal    Somewhat    NET    Not too   Not all    opin.    
9/11/01    42        16          26       58        33        25       *

6. If the United States can identify the groups or nations responsible for today's attacks, would you support or oppose taking military action against them?

            Support     Oppose     No opin.
9/11/01       94           3          3

***IF YES to Q6***
7. What if that meant getting into a war - in that case would you support or oppose taking military action?

            Support     Oppose     No opin.
9/11/01       92           4          4

8. Apart from those responsible for today's attacks, would you support or oppose the U.S. taking military action against countries that assist or shelter terrorists?

            Support     Oppose     No opin.
9/11/01       84          11          5

9. How confident are you in the ability of the U.S. government to find and punish the people responsible for these attacks - are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

                 -------Confident-----   -------Not confident------    No
                 NET   Very   Somewhat   NET   Not too   Not at all   opin.
9/11/01          91     54       37       9       8          1         1
8/5/96 (Atlanta) 86     40       46      14      10          4         *
8/5/96 (TWA 800) 61     21       40      38      25         13         1
5/14/95 (OKC)    92     52       40       8       5          3         0
4/20/95 (OKC)    89     56       33       9       7          1         2

10. Would you be willing to give up some of the liberties we have in this country in order for the government to crack down on terrorism, or not?

           Would be    Would not       No                                
           willing     be willing    opinion                             
9/11/01      66           24           10                                
5/14/95      52           41            7                                
4/20/95      59           35            7

11. Did you, personally, do any of the following because of today's attacks:

                                  Yes     No     No opin.  
a. Call or e-mail a friend or      
   relative in New York or 
   Washington to see how 
   they were                       28     72        *
b. Stay home from work or 
   leave early                     31     69        *
c. Watch or listen to 
   broadcast news reports          99      1        0
d. Pray for the victims and 
   their families                  91      8        *
e. Change your daily plans 
   or activities in any way        53     47        0

© Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company


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