More Americans in new poll say 9/11 changed the US for the worse

More Americans in new poll say 9/11 changed the US for the worse
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More Americans say that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil changed the country for the worse, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Wednesday.  

The survey found that 46 percent of respondents said the country has been changed for the worse following the terrorist attacks that occurred in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon.

Only 33 percent say America has changed for the better. Overall, 86 percent say the attack changed the country in a lasting way.


The poll results come just days before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that occurred in 2001. The events sparked the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and fundamentally changed air travel security globally. 

The September 2021 results differ vastly from just one year after the attacks. In a 2002 poll, 67 percent of respondents said the attack changed the country for the better. 

In the recent survey, 49 percent said the country is safer from terrorist attacks than before Sept. 11, 2001. Forty-one percent of participants said that the country is not safer from terror attacks following the 9/11 events. 

Along party lines, 57 percent of Democratic participants say the country was safer than before 9/11, while 54 percent of Republicans say it is less safe. Fifty-two percent of independents say that the country is safer than before the 9/11 events.

The poll also asked participants about the lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country. 

An overwhelming 82 percent of participants said that the coronavirus pandemic will make lasting changes in the country. Fifty percent of Americans polled say the country will be changed for the worse, while only 21 percent say it will be for the better. 


Along party lines, 62 percent of Republican respondents said the country will be changed for the worse because of the pandemic, while only about 4 in 10 moderate and liberal participants said the same. 

The poll also explored Americans' feelings on the end of the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan. The Biden administration pulled all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan on Aug. 31 after a month filled with chaos, as the Taliban consolidated power. The withdrawal efforts were marred by a suicide bombing and acts of desperation by Afghan nationals trying to flee the country.  

Results showed that 36 percent of respondents said the Afghan war was worth fighting, while 54 percent say it was not. 

The poll was conducted by telephone between Aug. 29-Sept. 1 and surveyed 1,006 adults. The results have a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.