Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

The Trump
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Trump Approval

US Direction

US Direction

Partisans agree on North Korea but diverge on ISIS, terrorism and a value of a multicultural society

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In our recent nationwide online survey of 1031 likely US voters, conducted from June 9- June 12, 2017 (the corresponding margin of error for this sample is +/-3.1 percentage points), we have also taken a look at the American's perception of threats they are facing.

Most Americans disagree with Senator John McCain that "Putin is a bigger threat than ISIS": overall 34% of likely voters in our sample agreed (strongly agree and somewhat agree combined) and 51% disagreed. This result is further strengthened by where intense feelings are - 27% of likely voters strongly disagree that Putin is a greater threat than ISIS, compared to 13% who strongly agree.

North Korea is perceived as more of a threat than Vladimir Putin, and, by a slim margin, ISIS - 44% of likely voters in our sample agree that "North Korea is a bigger threat than ISIS" compared to 41% who disagreed. As is the case with Putin, however, intensity is with voters who perceive ISIS to be the biggest threat - 12% of likely voters strongly disagree that North Korea is a greater threat than ISIS, compared to 14% who strongly agree.

As expected, there are significant partisan differences in threat perception. Putin is perceived as a bigger threat than ISIS by 51% of Democrats, including 25% who strongly agree with this view. Conversely, 66% of Republicans disagree with Republican Senator John McCain's view that Putin is a bigger threat than ISIS, including 35% who strongly disagree.

North Korea, however, is much less polarizing - while 48% of Democrats agree that North Korea is a bigger threat than ISIS, so does 43% of Republicans. Similarly, 38% of Democrats disagree - not far off from 40% of Republicans.

We have also asked our respondents whether they agree with the following position: "If an occasional terrorist attack is a price of living in a multicultural society, it is a price worth paying".

Overall, likely voters do not agree that a multicultural society is worth an occasional terrorist attack, assuming these are a given: 25% of likely voters agree and 62% disagree. Furthermore, intensity is very much on the side of those who find terrorist attacks unacceptable - 41% strongly disagree compared to 9% who agree.

Once again, there are partisan differences as well. Among Democrats, 32% believe that an occasional terrorist attack is a price worth paying (assuming we must) for living in a multicultural society. In contrast, only 17% of Republicans agree with this view. Intensity in all partisan groups, however, even Democrats, is with those who strongly disagree with this position: 31% of Democrats, 53% of Republicans and 40% of Independents strongly disagree that multiculturalism is worthy of an occasional terrorist attack, assuming these are unavoidable.

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