The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., have vaulted terrorism and national security to become the American public’s top concern, and they’ve helped drive President Barack Obama’s job rating to 43 percent — its lowest level in more than a year, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
What’s more, seven-in-10 Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction — the highest percentage here since Aug. 2014.
And 71 percent say the shootings and random acts of violence that have taken place this year — from Charleston, S.C., Oregon and Colorado, to the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. — are now are now a permanent part of American life.
“For most of 2015, the country’s mood, and thus the presidential election, was defined by anger and the unevenness of the economic recovery,” says Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates, which conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies. “Now that has abruptly changed to fear.”