Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Fear ISIS Threat

Image: Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Fear ISIS Threat ISIS military parade in Raqqa, northern Syria. (Stringer/Reuters/Landov)

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 09:09 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Most Americans think the world has become a much more dangerous place in recent years – and that President Barack Obama isn't tough enough on national security, a new poll shows.

The survey by the Pew Research Center and USA Today found the alarming insurgence of Islamic State militants is stoking many Americans' fears.

The poll found that 67 percent think the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a major threat to the United States' well-being, while 71 percent categorized "Islamic extremist groups like al-Qaida" as a big threat.

According to the survey, 65 percent of Americans believe the world has gotten more dangerous over the last several years; 7 percent say it's gotten safer; and 27 percent say things haven't changed much.

Meanwhile, the president is viewed as "not tough enough" on foreign policy by 54 percent; only 3 percent saying that the president is too tough.

Republicans, Democrats, and independents all are more likely to say America does too little to solve world problems – but the shift among Republicans is noteworthy, the survey found.

Last fall, 52 percent of Republicans said America does too much to help solve global problems, while 18 percent said it does too little. Now, 46 percent of Republicans think the United States does too little to solve global problems, and 37 percent say it does too much.

Pessimism has eased a little about America's place in the world, the poll finds.

According to the survey, 48 percent say the United States is a less important and powerful world leader than it was 10 years ago; 34 percent think America is as important as it was a decade ago; and 15 percent think it's more important.

Last November, 53 percent said the United States was less important globally, while 27 percent said it was as important; and 17 percent said it was more important.

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