Chris Matthews revealed an interesting statistic on his show Sunday: More than half of Republicans polled say they have a negative attitude toward Islam, this compared to only 27% of Democrats. Asked Matthews: Is this negative feeling what's propelling American Muslims (i.e. the Times Sq. Bomber, and the Fort Hood shooter) to attack America? Joe Klein thinks it's a contributing factor.
Said Katty Kay: "The risk for America is if you start putting all of those extremists in with all of Muslims."
Reihan Salam thinks the differential in the numbers has to do with the fact that less conservatives identify with the Republican party than Liberals with the Dems. And Joe Klein thinks it's merely representative of a larger anxiety prevalent in the older generations about changing social values combined with the struggling economy. As for how much President Obama has to do with these numbers, the panel generally agreed it was less than people might conclude. Said Norah O'Donnell: "I do think if Hillary Clinton were president some of this would still exist." (More)