Poll: Most Americans Believe US Changed for the Worse Following 9/11

Poll: Most Americans Believe US Changed for the Worse Following 9/11 man stands in rubble of world trade center collapse A man stands in the rubble, and calls out asking if anyone needs help, after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower Sept. 11, 2001, in New York. (DOUG KANTER/AFP via Getty Images)

By Solange Reyner | Thursday, 09 September 2021 02:45 PM

Just 49% of Americans say they feel safer in the U.S. from terrorism now compared with a peak of 67% in 2003 following the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Thursday.

Additionally, 33% of Americans say the attacks have changed the U.S. for the better, compared with 46% who say the events have changed the U.S. for the worse.

Forty-one percent of Americans say they feel less safe from terrorism since 9/11, compared with 27% in 2003.

The decline, according to Langer Research Associates, could reflect multiple factors, including "pessimism after the fall of Afghanistan and Republican-led dissatisfaction with the Biden administration."

"Confidence peaked in 2003 and 2004, fell steeply in 2005 after the London transit bombings, held especially high among Republicans during the Bush administration, plummeted among Republicans two years later under the Obama administration, then rose sharply across groups after the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011," according to the report.

The poll comes weeks after the U.S. withdrew all troops from Afghanistan to end America’s longest war and two days before the nation marks the 20th anniversary of the tragedy in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., where 2,753 lives were lost.

President Joe Biden on Saturday will visit all three sites where planes crashed on that day to commemorate the victims and heroes.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2021, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,006 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.