Americans fear a New Year of doom & gloom

Another terrorist attack, a warmer planet, death and destruction from a natural disaster. These are among Americans’ grim predictions for the United States in 2007.

But on a brighter note, only a minority of people think the U.S. will go to war with Iran or North Korea over the countries’ nuclear ambitions. An overwhelming majority thinks Congress will raise the federal minimum wage. A third sees hope for a cure to cancer.

These are among the findings of an Associated Press-AOL News poll that asked Americans to gaze into their crystal balls and contemplate what 2007 holds for the country.

Six in 10 people think the U.S. will be the victim of another terrorist attack next year, more than five years after the Sept. 11 assault on New York and Washington. An identical percentage think it is likely that bad guys will unleash a biological or nuclear weapon elsewhere in the world.

There is plenty of gloom to accompany all of that doom.

Seventy percent of Americans predict another major natural disaster within the United States and an equal percentage expect worsening global warming. Fewer than one-third of people, or 29 percent, think it is likely that the U.S. will withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Among other predictions for the U.S. in 2007:

  • Slightly more than one-third, or 35 percent, of Americans predict the military draft will be reinstated.
  • One in four, 25 percent, anticipates the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The telephone poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Dec. 12-14 by Ipsos, an international polling firm. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.


AP Manager of News Surveys Trevor Tompson, AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and AP writer Kasie Hunt contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press