Poll: 51% Say Fort Hood Could Have Been Prevented

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
A slim majority of Americans believe the U.S. military had information that could have prevented the shootings at Fort Hood Army post, a new CBS News poll finds.

Fifty-one percent of Americans say the military had sufficient information to prevent the shootings, while 29 percent say it did not. Another 20 percent are not sure.

Republicans and independents were slightly more likely than Democrats to say the military had sufficient information, though the percentages were relatively stable across the political spectrum.

Forty-eight percent of Americans – including 65 percent of Republicans – deem the shootings an act of terrorism, while 38 percent say it was not terrorism. Fourteen percent say they don't know if the attack, allegedly carried out by Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was terrorism.

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President Obama spoke at a memorial service for those killed in the attack, and he gets relatively high marks for his performance in the wake of the incident. Fifty-seven percent say they approve of how Mr. Obama dealt with the shootings, while just 18 percent disapprove. One in four aren't sure how they feel.

Fifty-six percent of Americans say they have heard "a lot" about the shootings. Those who say they have heard "a lot" are more likely to consider the attack an act of terrorism and say it could have been prevented.

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This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,167 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone November 13-16, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.