WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A new poll shows that, for the first time, more Americans believe they are losing the war on terror than think they are winning.
Rasmussen Reports said Wednesday that just 31 percent of American adults say the United States and its allies are winning their war on terrorism, whereas 36 percent think the terrorists are winning. Twenty-two percent said neither side was winning.
A statement about the poll on the Rasmussen Web site calls the figures "the lowest display of confidence in the United States' position in the war on terror since (we) began polling on the subject two years ago."
It says that the 31 percent who think America is winning is ten percent less than in the most recent poll on the issue, taken just under a month ago in the days after the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
A majority, 54 percent, now believe that the situation in Iraq will get worse over the next six months, up from 48 percent last month. Less than one quarter, 24 percent, believe it will improve.
Over one third, 36 percent, believe the United States is safer today than it was on Sept. 11, 2001, whereas 45 percent think it is not.
It was not immediately clear what the electoral impact of this more downbeat mood on the part of Americans might be. During the 2004 election campaign, Rasmussen says, a majority of Americans consistently believed the United States was winning its war.
The national survey of 1000 adults was conducted Oct. 7-8 by automated polling software using telephones and digitally recorded questions. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence, Rasmussen says.