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3866Americans predict plenty of gloom and doom in 2007: AP poll

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  • Jiri Rehor
    Jan 1, 2007

      Americans predict plenty of gloom and doom in 2007: AP poll

      Darlene Superville
      Canadian Press

      Monday, January 01, 2007

      WASHINGTON (AP) - Another terrorist attack, a warmer planet, death and destruction from a natural disaster are among Americans' grim predictions for the United States in 2007.

      Only a minority of people think the United States will go to war with Iran or North Korea over those countries' nuclear ambitions. An overwhelming majority of those surveyed think Congress will raise the federal minimum wage. One-third see hope for a cure to cancer.

      These are among the findings of an Associated Press-AOL News poll that asked people in the United States to contemplate what 2007 holds for the country.

      Six in 10 people think the United States will be the victim of a terrorist attack. An identical percentage thinks it likely a biological or nuclear weapon will be unleashed somewhere else in the world.

      Seventy per cent of people in the United States predict a major natural disaster in the country and an equal percentage expect worsening global warming. Also, 29 per cent think it likely the United States will withdraw its troops from Iraq.

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

      -35 per cent predict the military draft will be reinstated.

      -35 per cent predict a cure for cancer will be found.

      -25 per cent anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ.

      -19 per cent think scientists are likely to find evidence of extraterrestrial life.

      With Democrats poised to take control of Congress this week, eight in 10 people predict legislators will raise the US$5.15-an-hour federal minimum wage. It would be the first increase since 1997.

      Democratic leaders have proposed raising it in stages to $7.25 an hour. President George W. Bush has said he supports the idea, with some protections for small businesses.

      Fewer than one-half of the public think it likely the United States will go to war with Iran or North Korea. Should it come down to that, 40 per cent think the battle will be with Iran while 26 per cent said North Korea.

      Higher gas prices, legalized gay marriage and the possible arrival of bird flu also are seen as being in the cards.

      More than 90 per cent of people think higher gas prices are likely. A gallon of self-serve regular gasoline averaged $2.29 last week, compared with $3 over the summer.

      Also, 57 per cent said it is likely another state will legalize gay marriage. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts; four other states offer civil unions or domestic partnerships.

      People were split on whether 2007 will bring the first U.S. bird flu case. More than 150 people worldwide have died from the disease. Health officials fear a pandemic if the virus mutates into a form easily passed from person to person.

      Women generally were more likely than men to expect some of the more dire predictions to come true, such as a worldwide terrorist attack and war with Iran or North Korea. Democrats and people under 35 were more likely than Republicans and older people to say global warming will worsen in 2007.

      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.

      C The Canadian Press 2006

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