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War on Terror Update

Voters Think the Terrorists Winning

Monday, June 15, 2015

More voters than ever now say the terrorists are winning the War on Terror.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters now think the terrorists are winning the war, up from 37% last month,  and the highest ever since regular surveying began on the question in late 2006. Just 27% now think the United States and its allies are winning, in line with recent months but slightly above the all-time low of 19% measured in February. Twenty-one percent (21%) don’t think either side is winning, down nine points from May and the lowest since 2012. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

More than 40% of voters generally thought the United States was winning the War on Terror through 2008 and 2009 and peaked again at 55% in May 2011, just after bin Laden’s death was announced. But confidence started to drop steadily in 2013 as concern that the terrorists were winning began to climb.

When it comes to the Middle East, 41% of voters think the United States is too involved, up from February’s low of 35%.  Concern that the United States was too involved in the Middle East peaked at 54% in October 2013, but has otherwise generally stayed in the mid-40s. Thirty-two percent (32%) now think we aren’t involved in the Middle East enough, a new high, but fewer than ever (17%) think the level of involvement is about right.

But 49% think U.S. involvement in Middle East politics is bad for the United States.

On the other hand, 49% don’t think the government focuses enough on the threat of potential domestic Islamic terrorism. Fifteen percent (15%) think they focus too much on it, while 28% think the focus on the domestic terror threat is about right. This is generally unchanged from February.

Last month, after an abortive terrorist attack in Texas, 54% of American Adults felt there was more of a threat of domestic Islamic terrorism these days than in the past.

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The survey of 966 Likely Voters was conducted on June 10-11, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Just one-in-five voters (21%) think American Muslims living in this country are treated unfairly because of their religion and ethnicity. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disagree, but another 22% are not sure. This has shown little change since it was first asked in 2011, when 17% thought American Muslims were treated unfairly.

Forty-nine percent (49%) believe most Muslims worldwide view the United States as an enemy, but just 39% think most Americans view Muslims worldwide as an enemy, and they think U.S. relations with the Islamic world are worse than five years ago.

Christians are viewed differently. Sixty-two percent (62%) think most Christians living in the Islamic world are treated unfairly because of their religion, showing little change since 2014.  Thirteen percent (13%) don’t think Christians are treated unfairly, while 25% are not sure.

Democrats are more than twice as likely as Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major political party to think the United States and its allies are still winning the War on Terror. At least half of GOP and unaffiliated voters think the terrorists are winning.

Similarly, Democrats are much more likely to think American Muslims are treated unfairly, while Republicans and unaffiliateds are more likely to say Christians in Islamic countries receive unfair treatment.

More voters than ever think the U.S. military is overstretched these days, but slightly more also think America has a responsibility to maintain order globally.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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