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66% Think America Has Changed for the Worse Since 9/11

More Americans than ever believe the nation has changed for the worse since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but most also still think the world would be a better place if more countries were like the United States.

Two-out-of-three adults (66%) say America has changed for the worse since 9/11, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 18% believe the country is a better place today, while six percent (6%) think it hasn’t changed. Eleven percent (11%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In October 2001, a month after the attacks, 57% believed America had changed for the better. In January 2002, 61% felt that way. But sentiments have been shifting in the opposite direction ever since. In May, just after the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, just 21% said America has changed for the better, while 57% thought the change has been for the worse. 

Still, 53% of Americans believe the world would be better off if other countries became more like this one, consistent with findings in recent years but down from 71% in the fall of 2002. Only 18% feel that the world would be worse off if other nations emulated the United States. But a sizable 30% are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 7-8, 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.

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