HPU/News & Record Poll: North Carolinians Say U.S. Should Take Active Role Against Threats Like Ebola and ISIS

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 19, 2014 – The HPU Poll finds majorities of North Carolinians believe the United States should take an active role in addressing threats like the spread of the Ebola virus and the expansion of the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State in a world they see as increasingly dangerous for the U.S.

A 56 percent majority of North Carolina residents say it is best for the future of the country if the U.S. takes an active part in world affairs. Furthermore, nearly 8 out of 10 (78 percent) of North Carolinians say the world is becoming more rather than less dangerous for the U.S. and the American people.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of people interviewed say they had heard a lot about the group that calls itself the Islamic State and operates in Syria and Iraq. A 60 percent majority of respondents say that the U.S. should be doing more to stop the Islamic State, or ISIS, from advancing in Syria and Iraq.

Fifty-three percent of respondents say they were following the news about the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa either very or extremely closely. Slightly more than a third (39 percent) of respondents are concerned about a large outbreak inside the U.S. within the next year.  A majority (63 percent) support the U.S. sending more resources to West Africa to help stop the spread of the virus.

Only 14 percent of North Carolinians say they have made any changes to their daily routine because of the virus. Fifty-one percent of respondents believe that North Carolina hospitals are either somewhat or very prepared to deal with isolated cases of Ebola, and a majority of 60 percent said it was extremely unlikely (1 on a scale of 1 to 10) that they or members of their families would be infected with the virus. Only a quarter (25 percent) of people who had said they voted in the 2014 elections said that government response to the disease had affected how they cast their ballot on Election Day.

“We have been seeing noteworthy differences in the relative attention people are giving to the Ebola story. In the months before the elections, likely voters increased greatly how much they followed the issue. But this group of North Carolina residents is less interested,” says Brian McDonald, assistant director of the HPU Poll. “People may be feeling less anxious as only 14 percent indicated making changes to their daily routine because of the virus and most find it extremely unlikely they or their family will become infected.”

 

All adults – U.S. role in the world

Do you think it will be best for the future of the country if we take an active part in world affairs, or if we stay out of world affairs?

Active part – 56 percent

Stay out – 37 percent

Don’t know/refused – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – World safer or more dangerous for U.S.

Thinking about current U.S. relations with the rest of the world, would you say that the world is becoming safer or more dangerous for the U.S. and the American people?

Safer – 15 percent

More dangerous – 78 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – Heard about ISIS/ISIL

How much have you heard about the group that calls itself the Islamic State and operates in both Syria and Iraq? It is sometimes referred to as ISIS or ISIL. Have you heard a lot, a little, or nothing at all?

A lot – 68 percent

A little – 26 percent

Nothing at all – 5 percent

Don’t know – less than 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – U.S. take more action again ISIS/ISIL

Do you think the U.S. government should be doing more to stop the Islamic State or ISIS from advancing in Syria and Iraq?

Yes – 60 percent

No – 26 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 14 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – News about Ebola outbreak

 

How closely are you following news about the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa? Are you following the news…

Extremely closely – 20 percent

Very closely – 32 percent

Somewhat closely – 35 percent

Not very closely – 10 percent

Not at all – 3 percent

Don’t know/refuse – less than 1 percent

 

All adults – Concern about Ebola in U.S.

Are you concerned that there will be large outbreak of Ebola inside the United States within the next 12 months, or aren’t you concerned about that?

Concerned – 39 percent

Not concerned – 60 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 2 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – Are NC hospitals ready

How prepared do you think North Carolina hospitals are to deal with isolated cases of Ebola?

Very prepared – 18 percent

Somewhat prepared – 32 percent

Not very prepared – 19 percent

Not at all prepared – 19 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 12 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – Sending more anti-Ebola resources to Africa

Do you support sending more U.S. resources to West Africa to stop the spread of the Ebola virus?

Yes – 63 percent

No – 32 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 6 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – Voting and spread of Ebola

The spread of the Ebola virus has been in the news for some time. Would you say that you considered how the government was responding to Ebola when you cast your ballot?

Yes – 25 percent

No – 72 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 3 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – Changes to daily routine because of Ebola

Have you made any changes to your daily routine because of the Ebola virus?

Yes – 15 percent

No – 84 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

All adults – Likelihood of Ebola spreading

On a scale of 1 to 10 where 0 means extremely unlikely and 10 means extremely likely to be infected, how likely would you say it is that you or one of your family will be infected with the Ebola virus?

(1) – Extremely Unlikely – 60 percent

(2) – 12 percent

(3) – 12 percent

(4) – 2 percent

(5) – 7 percent

(6) – 1 percent

(7) – 1 percent

(8) – 1 percent

(9) – less than 1 percent

(10) – Extremely Likely – 2 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 3 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Nov. 8-13, 2014, n = 421 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.8 percent)

 

The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Nov. 8-13, 2014. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 421 adults with landline or cellular telephones.  The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.8 percentage points for these respondents. The data are weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.

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