By Editorial Staff.
The latest Wall Street Journal poll reveals that following the San Bernardino terrorist attack, 70 percent of Americans now believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction and 51 percent disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance as President.
With the poll completed prior to the December 15 closure of 900 Los Angeles schools due to what authorities referred to as a “credible terrorist bombing threat”, about 71 percent of Americans say that the "shootings and random acts of violence that took place this year in Charleston, S.C., Oregon , Colorado, and the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, California -- are now are now a permanent part of American life,”
In the run-up to the political party primaries that kick off with the Iowa caucuses on February 1, Domestic terrorism and national security have more than doubled this year and now are the top issue of 40 percent of Americans. The next nearest categories are job creation and economic growth at 23 percent and the deficit and government spending at 11 percent.
With President Obama increasingly being seen as a “lame duck,” he attempted to revive his leadership standing recently by claiming at the opening of the Paris COP21 conference that embracing a climate change policy is tantamount to fighting terror and making a “rejection” of what terrorists seek to do to the world. But only 7 percent of Americans now rate climate change as their top issue.
The WSJ found a huge partisan divide in the poll. About 58 percent of Republican primary voters say that national security/terrorism is their top concern, while only 26 percent of Democratic primary voters rate it their number one concern. Democrats by 33 percent to Republicans 12 percent rate economy/jobs as their most important concern.
When asked, “Is taking military action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in our national interest or not,” a stunning about 60 percent are ready to send in the military and only a paltry 13 percent are opposed to direct intervention. Forty-two percent say the military should use both airstrikes and combat troops; 36 percent say it should be limited only to airstrikes; and just 12 percent say military action should not be taken.
When asked, “Which worries you more that the United States will not go far enough in monitoring the activities and communications of potential terrorists living in the United States or that the United States will go too far and violate the privacy rights of average citizens?”, the national consensus has flipped over the last two years.
In 2013, 56 percent to 36 percent of Americans worried that the federal government would go too far in surveillance of U.S. citizens. But in the most recent poll, by 55 percent to 40 percent Americans worry that the government will not go far enough.
As a result of these negative trends, President Obama’s disapproval rating has leaped by 11 points since early summer to 51 percent.