Last week, CIA director Michael Hayden warned Americans against complacency in the war on terror, as six years have passed without an attack on the US homeland. Hayden worried that Americans may already have regressed to a 9/10 state of mind. Investor's Business Daily conducted a poll to determine whether Hayden has cause for concern, and found out that we remain resolute in our fight against terrorists:
• 70% of Americans believe we should not quickly pull out of Iraq
o Includes 73% of Democrats (more than the 71% of Republicans)
• 69% believe we should increase surveillance of terrorists
o 61% believe we should wiretap suspected terrorists without a court warrant
• 63% believe we should not release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay
IBD conducted the poll between September 4th and 7th, as the nation prepared for the testimony of General David Petraeus and as the Democrats launched their attack against his integrity. That smear campaign apparently failed. In fact, the American public seems much more willing to continue looking for victory in Iraq rather than rush into a retreat and defeat, despite loud protestations by Democrats that the military has failed.
Consider the responses to the poll. A majority -- 55% -- still believe that America has a moral obligation to protect Iraqis and assist them in stabilizing their country. It's not an open-ended commitment; only 28% would support staying 9 or 10 years to achieve that goal, but they're willing to stay more than just a couple of months.
We're also rather sanguine about warrantless wiretapping. Over sixty percent support warrantless wiretapping of terrorist suspects. Fifty-nine percent support detaining non-citizen terror suspects in foreign facilities, which caused a Beltway blowup after the Washington Post revealed CIA detention centers in Europe. Two-thirds support the Patriot Act, and almost as many support keeping Guantanamo Bay open for business.
Those are remarkable numbers, and they point to big problems for the Democrats. Nancy Pelosi has pledged to revisit the FISA legislation passed just before the August recess to further restrain our intelligence agencies. That move would prove very unpopular, as IBD's polling shows. They also want to press for a closure of Gitmo and have repeatedly attempted to curtail the Patriot Act, all efforts that act against the broad majority of public sentiment. If they follow through on those promises -- a tall order in this Congress, apparently -- they may wind up racing to minority status in record time after winning the majority.
Terry Jones will join me on Heading Right Radio today to discuss this poll. Be sure to tune in!
UPDATE: The poll results are presented in graphic form, so you should click on the image to get the enhanced view. It breaks the results down by party, although the results are actually not all that different on the various questions in terms of party identification. IBD sent the following sample data:
About The Poll: Investor’s Business Daily/ /TIPP poll was conducted between September 4 and September 7, 2007, using a computer-generated sample to cover both listed and unlisted households. A total of 1,004 telephone interviews were conducted with adult Americans nationwide. The margin of error for the poll is 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
UPDATE II: I see where commenters have been confused about where I got the Iraq numbers. Actually, the data set was sent to me by IBD, and I erred in assuming that all of the questions were at the link I provided. Jazz from Middle Earth Journal tried assisting me with this, but IBD sent this link for the poll results on Iraq, which they incorporated into their editorial. My apologies for not having both links from the start.