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Washington Post-ABC News Poll: Anthrax

Monday, October 15, 2001

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on telephone interviews with 509 randomly selected adults nationwide and was conducted Monday evening, Oct. 15. 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. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. 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    opin.
10/15/01     92       75         17      5         3          3         3

2. 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.    
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 ..."

3. 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.
10/15/01         68            29          3
10/9/01          71            27          2

Compare to:

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.
9/13/01          31                65             4
9/11/01          43                44            13

4. There's been news lately about letters contaminated with the anthrax bacteria being distributed by mail. Is this situation 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     op.    
10/15/01   65        28          37       35        22         14       0

Compare to:

Specifically, how concerned are you about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the United States using biological or chemical weapons - 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.    
10/9/01    80        37          43       20        13          7       *

5. What about the chance that you personally, or a close friend or relative, might be the victim of an anthrax attack - does that worry you a great deal, somewhat, not too much or not at all?

----------Worried---------- --------Not worried----- No NET Grt.deal Somewhat NET Not much None op. 10/15/01 54 26 29 45 29 17 *

6. Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way government authorities have been handling the anthrax situation? Would you say you are VERY satisfied/ dissatisfied or only SOMEWHAT?"

             --------Satisfied--------    ------Dissatisfied------     No      
             NET     Very     Somewhat    NET     Somewhat    Very     op.    
10/15/01     85       43         41       12         9          3       3

7. Given what you know about it, do you think of the anthrax situation as (a few isolated cases limited to a small number of people), or as (the first of an ongoing series of cases that could affect large numbers of people)?

             Isolated     Ongoing     No opin. 
10/15/01        45           50           5

8. How confident are you in the federal government's ability to respond effectively to a large-scale biological or chemical attack in the United States - very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident or not confident at all?

             -------Confident-------    -------Not confident--------     No      
             NET    Very    Somewhat    NET    Not too    Not at all     op.    
10/15/01*    72      22        50       26        20          6          2
10/9/01      74      23        51       25        19          6          1
*added "large-scale"

9. Generally speaking, do you think the news media have (exaggerated the danger of the anthrax situation), or have they (reported the anthrax situation without exaggerating the danger)?

             Exaggerated     Not exaggerated     No opin.
10/15/01          34                62              4

10/11/12. Since September 11th, have you or has anyone in your household bought a supply of antibiotics in case of biological attack, or not? (IF YES) What kind of antibiotic did you buy---what brand name, if you remember? (IF NO) Are you seriously considering doing that, or not?

             ---------Yes----------   -------------No--------------    No
             Cipro   Other   DK/REF   Consider   Not cons.   DK/REF   opin. 
10/15/01       *       *        0         9         89          1       0

13. On another subject, how worried are you that the U.S. war on terrorism will grow into a broader war between (the U.S. and its allies) on one side, and (Arabs and Muslims) on the other side? 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     op.    
10/15/01     63        28          35       36        19         16       1
10/9/01      66        25          41       33        22         11       1

14. Do you think the United States is doing all it reasonably can do to try to avoid civilian casualties in Afghanistan, or do you think it should do more?

              US doing      US should      No
             all it can      do more      opin.
10/15/01         85            12          2


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