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Post-ABC Poll: Bush Addresses Nation; War on Terrorism

Thursday, September 20, 2001

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on telephone interviews with 526 randomly selected adults nationwide and was conducted Thursday evening, Sept. 20, following President Bush's televised address to the nation. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 5 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. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the U.S. response to last week's terrorist attacks?

            Approve      Disapprove     No opin.
9/20/01       91             5             4
9/13/01*      91             7             2
*9/13/01 "this week's"

2. Do you support or oppose taking military action against the groups or nations responsible for the terrorist attacks?

            Support     Oppose     No opin.
9/20/01       90           6          4
9/13/01*      93           5          2
9/11/01       94           3          3

*9/13/01 and previous: "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?"

3. (If support, Q2) What if that meant getting into a war - in that case would you support or oppose taking military action?

2/3 NET

            ------Support if war-----             No 
            NET   Strongly   Somewhat   Oppose   opin.
9/20/01     83      71        12          10      7
9/13/01     86      71        15          11      3
9/11/01     86      NA        NA           7      4

4. (If support, Q2) Do you think the United States should limit its military action only to those groups or nations responsible for last week's attacks, or should the United States mount a broader war against terrorist groups and the nations that support them?

2/4 NET

             Limit    Broader    Oppose   No opin. 
            action     war
9/20/01       24        63         6         7 

5. Just your best guess, do you think large numbers of U.S. troops will be killed and wounded in the military action to come, or not that many?

            Yes     No     No opin.
9/20/01      37     53       10

6. Again, just your best guess, do you think the U.S. military action to come will last for a few weeks, a few months, a year or so, or several years?

           Few     Few     Year     Several     No
          Weeks   months             years     opin.
9/20/01     2      14       22        57        5

7. What do you think would create a greater risk of further terrorism in this country - if the United States DOES take military action against terrorists, or if the United States does NOT take military action?

           Does take     Does not      No diff.     No
            action      take action    (vol.)      opin.
9/20/01      15            73             8         3

10. On another subject, would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

               ----Excellent/Good-----    -----Not so good/Poor-----    No  
               NET   Excellent    Good    NET    Not so good   Poor     op.
9/20/01        38        3        35      60        47          14       2
9/9/01         33        1        32      66        47          19       *
7/30/01        50        3        46      50        39          12       *
4/22/01        50        3        47      50        40           9       *
1/15/01        70       10        59      29        24           6       1 
10/27/00 LV    86       24        61      14        11           3       * 
10/26/00 LV    86       24        61      14        11           3       * 
6/11/00        74       17        57      26        19           6       *  
2/27/00        80       25        55      20        14           5       *  
10/31/99       74       18        56      26        18           7       1  
9/2/99         76       19        57      23        16           6       1  
3/14/99        80       22        58      19        15           4       1  
11/1/98        73       12        61      26        21           5       1  
11/1/98  LV    78       13        65      22        19           3       *  
10/13/97       61       12        49      39        27          11       * 

11. Just your best guess, do you think the economy is heading into a recession, or not?

            Yes     No     No opin.  
9/20/01     57      37        6
9/13/01     58      37        5
9/9/01      53      44        4
7/30/01     52      46        2
4/22/01     45      50        5
3/25/01     58      37        5
1/15/01     55      42        3

12. Did you watch or listen to any of Bush's address to Congress tonight, or not?

            Yes     No     No opin.
9/20/01      79     21        0 

13. Bush proposed measures to combat terrorism including stricter airport security and stronger law enforcement efforts, including the creation of a new White House office for domestic security. How much do you think these measures will do to reduce the risk of another major terrorist attack in this country- a great deal, a good amount, only some or just a little?

          -----Great/Good------    ---Only Some/Little--     
          NET    Great    Good     NET    Only    Just a     No
                 deal    amount           some    little    opin.
9/20/01   69      33       36      28      22        6       3

14. (If watched, Q12) Did Bush's speech make you more confident in this country's ability to deal with this crisis, less confident, or what?

             More       Less       No diff.    No
          confident   confident     (vol.)    opin.
9/20/01       80          4           14       3

© Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company


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