- 7 in 10 poll respondents think ISIS can attack the United States
- Three-quarters responding to CNN/ORC poll support airstrikes against ISIS
- A similar number of people thinks Obama should get Congress' approval
Americans are increasingly concerned that ISIS represents a direct terror threat, fearful that ISIS agents are living in the United States, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll. Most now support military action against the terrorist group.
Seven in 10 Americans believe ISIS has the resources to launch an attack against the United States, just days before President Barack Obama plans to address the nation on the subject.
The poll released Monday shows that Americans favor:
-- Additional airstrikes against ISIS (76% favor, 23% oppose)
-- Military aid to forces fighting ISIS (62% favor, 37% oppose)
-- Providing humanitarian aid to people fleeing ISIS (83% favor, 16% oppose)
But a majority of Americans, 61%-38%, oppose placing U.S. soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Syria to combat the terrorist group.
Even as Americans support military action against ISIS, they still want Obama to seek authority from Congress before taking any action. More than 7 in 10 Americans think Obama should ask Congress for the ability to strike ISIS militarily. And 8 in 10 Americans support Congress approving military force against ISIS.
Obama, who described ISIS as a "serious threat" in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," is scheduled to speak to the nation Wednesday to outline his strategy to address the terrorist organization. He will meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday to discuss his plan.
While the CNN poll indicates Americans think ISIS has the ability to attack the United States, Obama said in the NBC interview there has been no "immediate intelligence" that signifies the terrorist group is a threat. And while Obama did not offer specific details of his plan to strike ISIS, he did take the idea of putting U.S. groups on the ground in Iraq and Syria off the table.
Obama's upcoming speech comes as two Americans were murdered and grisly images and stories of the terrorist group needlessly killing enemies have emerged from Iraq and Syria. So far, Americans are not happy with how Obama has addressed the ISIS situation. The CNN/ORC poll shows that only 30% of Americans think that he has a clear plan for dealing with ISIS.
Overall, the President's approval rating is 43%, while 55% disapprove how he is handling his role as commander in chief.
On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the threat of ISIS rivals that of al Qaeda in 2003. The CNN/ORC Polls shows that 45% of Americans see that ISIS is a "very serious threat to the U.S," while 49% thought the same of al Qaeda 11 years ago.
The threat of terrorism has grown exponentially in recent years, according to those being polled. In September 2010, only 3% of Americans named terrorism as the most important problem facing the country. It has now increased to 14% and ranks right behind the economy, 30%, as the most important problem facing the nation.
"Americans are significantly less reluctant to use military force than they were a year ago, and the number who say that terrorism is the country's most important problem has quadrupled, making it second only to the economy on the list of top problems in the public's mind," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.