Measuring the post-London fear factor

After the London bombings, how are commuters across the pond feeling about the prospect of similar terrorist attacks inside the United States?

Aaron Kinney
July 22, 2005 3:20AM (UTC)

With London on edge again after more bombings on Thursday, how are commuters across the pond feeling about the prospect of similar terrorist attacks inside the United States? Though conducted before the second round of attacks in London, a new poll out from Quinnipiac University finds that while most New Yorkers are "very worried" about a terrorist attack in the wake of the July 7 bombings, 88 percent of respondents are going about their usual routine unfazed.

The Quinnipiac survey contains several intriguing contradictions. Despite the fact that 50 percent of those polled said New York City is not adequately prepared to deal with another terrorist attack, 69 percent said they consider themselves and their families safe from attack, and only 17 percent said they are less likely to ride the subway. The poll also revealed that New Yorkers have a lot more confidence in their local commander in chief than in the nation's. By a margin of 62 to 23 percent, they approve of the way Mayor Michael Bloomberg is handling the terrorism issue -- while those same respondents disapprove, 67 to 29 percent, of the way George W. Bush is handling it.


New Yorkers' concerns about defending civil liberties appeared to trump desires to see more draconian measures for protecting the mass transit system. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said anti-terrorism measures should not be so extreme as to violate their civil liberties. A solid majority of Republicans surveyed felt this way (57 percent), while more than two-thirds of Democrats surveyed (69 percent) did.

In other polling news, a Guardian/ICM survey released on Tuesday found that a majority of British respondents believe the London bombing was connected to the war in Iraq. Two-thirds of those polled believe the July 7 terrorist attacks were linked to Iraq, and 75 percent said -- just days ahead of Thursday's second round of bombings -- that they expected further attacks to occur.

Aaron Kinney

Aaron Kinney is a writer in San Francisco. He has a blog.

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