Rasmussen might have gone downhill over the past couple of years, but this poll is still noteworthy regardless. The number of Americans who believe we’re winning the War on Terror has dropped to its lowest point in the company’s 10 years of opinion tracking. As the poll notes:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 27% of Likely U.S. Voters now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror. That’s down eight points from 35% in April and 47% a year ago. This figure hit a high of 62% in February 2009 just after President Obama’s inauguration, then steadily deteriorated until the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 when it rebounded into the 50s.
Thirty-six percent (36%) think the terrorists are winning that war, the highest level of doubt since the late Bush years in 2007. Twenty-nine percent (29%) say neither side is winning.
And if you’ve looked at the news over the past few months, it’s not difficult to see why Americans feel this way. Over that time period, the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL has risen up in Iraq (as the President continues to push for the de-authorization of the AUMF), and Israel and Hamas have begun fighting again, with Obama’s tepid support of Israel doing little to assuage Israeli or American fears that the President doesn’t regard the country as one of the United States’ biggest allies in the War on Terror. We can add on top of this the United States’ continued desire to negotiate something, anything of a nuclear deal with Iran, without the kind of firmness that talks with such a hostile regime deserve. At the end of May, we saw the release of Bowe Bergdahl, quite possibly the most questionable American POW ever and almost certainly a deserter from his post. Finally, we’ve also seen, since the beginning of 2014, the Meriam Ibrahim story develop, and she only found freedom from Sudanese captivity after her family fled to…Italy. Obama’s muddled approach to this area of foreign policy is so bad that even the Daily Beast was compelled to mention it.
The War on Terror is still every bit the existential conflict it was under the Bush administration. In fact, now, it’s even more crucial that we win it than it was in 2009 when the current administration took office, but thanks to a series of actions and inactions by Obama, whether through incompetence or malice (or both), more Americans than ever in the past ten years, if Rasmussen’s numbers are accurate, believe we are losing this crucial fight.