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Rating Obama on terrorism

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds President Obama's handling of the threat of terrorism continues to be a strong point, but on one of his most high profile initiatives - closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay - support has fallen off sharply.

After taking the oath of office one year ago today, Obama said "we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals," and pledged to defeat "those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents."

One year later, a majority of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the threat of terrorism and his response to last month's attempted terrorist bombing of a plane bound for Detroit. But 56 percent, a new high, disapprove of Obama's decision to close the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, one of his first actions as president. About four in 10 (39 percent) approve of it.

The souring of views on plan to shutter Guantanamo comes chiefly among three groups: seniors, political independents and whites. Among seniors, disapproval of closing the prison has grown by more than 20 points since June to 70 percent; among independents (58 percent disapprove, up seven points) and whites (62 percent disapprove, up eight points) the shift has been less dramatic.

Overall, the new poll finds the share who believe the U.S. campaign against terrorism is going well has reached a new low (51 percent) and under half give the nation positive marks on breaking up the al Qaeda network (32 percent), reorganizing government agencies to fight terrorism (44 percent) and improving intelligence gathering and coordination (47 percent).

The poll marks the first time in the Obama presidency that Post-ABC polling has measured public assessments of the campaign against terrorism, and there has been a corresponding switch in partisan views. Democrats have moved from a near-even split in September 2008 to a positive one, with 66 percent saying it's going well to 32 percent not well. Among Republicans, the share saying things are going well has dropped more than 40 percentage points since 2008 (from 87 percent to 41 percent).

Looking specifically at Obama's handling of the issue, a majority of all adults say Obama's administration is doing as well (48 percent) or better than (30 percent) the Bush administration at handling intelligence reports about the threat of terrorism. One in five (20 percent) believe he is doing worse. More than six in 10 (62 percent) approve of his handling of the attempted terrorist bombing last month. That subject, the focus of a congressional hearing today, garners Obama his highest approval rating among Republicans (45 percent) or independents (56 percent).

Complete data from this poll available here.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  January 20, 2010; 5:53 PM ET
Categories:  Terrorism  
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Comments

It's not terribly surprising, is it?

See my op-ed that failed to be accepted by major media:

Systemic failures, by design
http://kyield.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/systemic-failures-by-design/

Posted by: markm5 | January 20, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Convenient...more fear mongering to create more fear...The system isn't broken, it is working BEAUTIFULLY.
The odds of being killed in a terrorist attack in the US? Anyone have it? NO?
Not surprised - I would guess it is less than the odds of drowning in the Sahara; dying of suffocation in a wind tunnel; Heat stroke at the South Pole
Let's scare everybody into creating more terrorists...SOP!
That is EXACTLY what is happening with the CONTINUED attack on the freedom of those who are NOT white, Christian and who are living atop "our oil" (how dare they not just pipe it in to our nearest Conoco?).
This was not all Bush's plan...not by a long shot - why else was Kissinger made Bush's ringer? He wrote about the need to gain "control" over the Middle East while we were slaughtering people in Viet Nam.
American Exceptionalism's UGLINESS is the face shown to the world and has been enlarged and engorged with the cruelty and immorality of "extraordinary renditions" (not so extraordinary when thousands of people have been kidnapped by this process), illegal detentions on US soil, crimes against humanity committed in our name ordered from the very OVAL OFFICE claiming to have our collective back.
WE are destroying families (nice behavior for the man of Christ Bush claimed to be and the man of the people Obama claims to be), destroying lives...men, women, and children have been raped and tortured in Abu Ghraib for one...do you think that was the ONLY PLACE?
Why is it that Obama and his DOJ don't want to hold anyone accountable? Do you honestly believe it all stopped on January 20, 2009? You aren't paying attention.
DO YOU REALLY want to stop the possibility of terrorist activities inside the US by extremists from the Middle East? STOP BEING the ENEMY they claim we are and start acting like the country we promised to be

Posted by: REALCosmicSurfer | January 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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