49% say U.S. should not move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, 36% say move it
Almost three-quarters say transgender people should be allowed to serve in the US military
Sharp partisan shifts in concern over terrorism, view of fight against ISIS
Americans feel more positive about the fight against ISIS than they have since 2014, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, marking a rare public opinion win for Donald Trump’s policies, while worries about terrorism, divisions on U.S. policy toward Israel and broad support for allowing transgender people to serve in the military suggest looming challenges for the administration in the coming year.
ISIS and Terrorism
More than 6 in 10 Americans say the US military action against ISIS is going well, the most positive assessment of the campaign since the US began airstrikes against the terrorist group in Syria in fall of 2014, and a sharp improvement since spring of last year, when 45% said things were going well.
The shift rests on increasingly positive reviews from independents and Republicans. Among Republicans, 78% say it’s going well, up from 28% who said so in spring 2016, when the US efforts were still led by Democratic President Barack Obama. Independents have gone from 43% saying things are going well to 63% now. Among Democrats, opinions have shifted in the opposite direction. While 61% said things were going well in 2016, that stands at 50% now.
The poll was conducted shortly after Iraq’s prime minister declared victory over ISIS in that country, but as tensions flared between the US and Russia over the conflict with ISIS in Syria.
It also followed an attempted terrorist attack in the New York City subway system, and found public concern about terrorist attacks here in the US remains notably high. Seventy percent of Americans say further acts of terrorism in the US in the next several weeks are very or somewhat likely, with the 28% who see such attacks as “very likely” – the highest level to say so since fall of 2001. In June 2016, following the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, 71% said they saw further attacks as likely, but the share who reported they were “very likely” stood at 24%. That 71% mark was the highest in CNN polling dating back to 2003.
The steadiness of those overall numbers between last spring and now masks partisan shifts beneath the surface, as Americans seem less likely to anticipate terrorist attacks in the US when the president is from their preferred party. In June 2016, 60% of Democrats said further acts of terrorism were likely after the Pulse shooting, but 73% say so now. Among Republicans, 84% expected further terrorism in 2016 while 64% do now. Among independents, the figure is exactly the same now as it was last year: 72% call further attacks likely.
President Donald Trump’s approval rating for handling terrorism stands at 42%, with 51% saying they disapprove of