Poll: Fewer Americans Believe US Winning War On Terror

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Egyptian protesters returns a tear gas canister fired by riot police during clashes near the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Sept. 13, 2012. (credit: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian protesters returns a tear gas canister fired by riot police during clashes near the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Sept. 13, 2012. (credit: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A new survey finds that fewer Americans believe the United States is winning the “war on terror.”

According to Rasmussen Reports, 45 percent of likely voters believe the U.S. is safer today than it was before the 9/11 attacks, down from 50 percent last month and 17 points lower than the previous high of 62 percent in February of 2009.

The downturn comes from recent events in the Mideast, when several Muslim countries launched deadly protests over an anti-Islam film, and the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Pessimism also continues to grow with the Afghanistan war.

Of those surveyed, 21 percent believe the terrorists are winning, while another 26 percent believe both sides are in a stalemate.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been focusing on Obama’s foreign policy since the Mideast uprising.

“Many Americans are troubled by the developments in the Middle East,” Romney said while speaking before the Clinton Global Initiative Tuesday. “Syria has witnessed the killings of tens of thousands of people. The president of Egypt is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. … And Iran is moving toward nuclear weapons capability.

“We feel that we are at the mercy of events, rather than shaping events,” he added.

The White House has come under fire for only recently saying the attack in Benghazi was terrorism.

Obama, in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, said the recent assaults on U.S. citizens in Libya “were attacks on America” and called on world leaders to join in confronting the root causes of the rage across the Muslim world.

But in a slap at Romney, Obama urged Americans to “remember that this is a season of progress” in the Arab World, where autocratic leaders have been deposed in several countries.

In another jab, he said, “Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on peace.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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