Plurality of voters feel about as safe from terrorism as before 9/11: poll

Many Americans say they feel the United States is about as safe from potential terrorism now as it was before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll.

A plurality of registered voters, 47 percent, said they feel the safety of the U.S. is comparable to the period before 9/11, while 35 percent said they think it is more safe now and 18 percent said it is less safe.

The survey found some differences in opinion about the period after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon based on one's political affiliation.

A majority of Republicans in the poll, 54 percent, said they feel more safe from terrorist attacks in the years following 9/11, while just 24 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Independents said the same.

Minority voters in the poll were also more likely to say they feel less safe now than before 9/11: 23 percent of Black voters and 22 percent of Hispanic voters said they feel less safe, while 16 percent of white voters agreed.

"There's a question about what do we actually mean by terrorism," Chris Jackson, vice president of Ipsos, told Hill.TV.

"When we talk about it in the context of September 11th I think most people think of being attacked by people outside of the United States but among Democrats and particularly among minority Democrats there's increasing fear of domestic terrorism," he added.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online Sept. 8-11 among 909 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.24 percentage points.

Gabriela Schulte