If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


80% Say Terrorists Are Bigger Threat to U.S. Than Traditional Wars

While U.S. troops are fighting daily in Afghanistan, the nation's longest-running war, voters overwhelmingly think terrorism is a bigger threat to the country than traditional wars.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 12% of Likely U.S. Voters think traditional wars are a bigger threat to the United States than terrorists. Eighty percent (80%) disagree and see terrorists as the bigger threat. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

However, voters have mixed feelings about refocusing the military toward fighting terrorism. Thirty percent (30%) feel America could improve its national security by reducing the number of soldiers in uniform and focusing more strategically on fighting terrorism, but 41% oppose such a strategic shift. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are not sure which is the best course.

Voters who have served in the military are more likely than those who have not been in uniform to see traditional wars as the bigger threat. The majority (57%) of those who have served oppose refocusing the military toward combating terrorism.

Either way, 82% of all voters believe economic challenges are a bigger threat to the U.S. military than challenges on the military front. 

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
 The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 27, 2011 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.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.