A new survey of more than 1000 adults from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute puts terrorism as the second-leading issue America faces. Americans are also personally concerned about attending large public events and about the adequacy of security measures generally.
When asked “what do you think is the most important issue facing the country today?”
- The response “jobs and the economy” continued to hold the top spot, but the response level declined to 25.8 percent, compared to 32.4 percent in October. Meanwhile, the generalized response “terrorism” shot up more than 10 percentage points to 16.9 percent from 5.6 percent in October 2015, putting the issue in second place. The third-place issue was “homeland security and anti-terror policy,” at 15.1 percent, compared to 4.5 percent in October.
When respondents were asked to indicate whether they strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree, or were unsure about policies and opinions in the news, these findings emerged:
- More than three-quarters, at 78.2 percent, strongly or somewhat agree that “It is likely ISIS terrorists are hiding among Syrian and other refugees in order to enter Europe and the United States.”
- Two-thirds, at 66.9, percent agree strongly or somewhat with “a pause in accepting Syrian refugees into the United States until additional FBI background checks and approvals are added to the current screening process.”
- Half, at 51.1 percent, disagree strongly or somewhat that “the U.S. and Americans have an obligation to accept Syrian refugees.” The cumulative percent of those who agree with the notion of an obligation was 39 percent.
- Just over half, at 52.5 percent, disagree somewhat or strongly that “I trust our federal government’s ability to accurately verify entering refugees are not terrorists.” Fewer than four in 10, or 36.4 percent, reported agreement with the trust statement.
- Those who agree somewhat or strongly that they are “concerned about terrorism when attending large public events” were reported at 61.8 percent.
- Nearly half—48.3 percent—somewhat or strongly agree that “Russia’s President (Vladimir) Putin is stronger on fighting terrorism than President Obama.
When respondents were asked which current presidential candidate—despite personal preference—”would likely mount the strongest and most effective effort against terrorists worldwide while protecting Americans at home” they said, in descending order:
- Donald Trump, 24.1 percent
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 20.7 percent
- U.S. Senator (VT) Bernie Sanders, 7.7 percent
- U.S. Senator (TX) Ted Cruz, 5.5 percent
- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 4.7 percent
- Dr. Ben Carson, 4.4 percent
The poll was conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and has a +/- 3.0 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis. The national online poll of more than 1,000 adults was conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute between November 29 and December 3.
SOURCE Saint Leo University Polling Institute