HPU Poll: North Carolinians see North Korea and Russia as Top International Threats

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 10, 2017 The first HPU Poll of 2017 finds that the majority of North Carolinians want the U.S. to take an active role in world affairs, and perceive North Korea and Russia as major threats.

When asked for their opinion on the threat level posed by a number of international concerns, “North Korea’s nuclear program” and “Russia’s power and influence” rose to the top as major threats for these North Carolina respondents, earning 72 percent and 61 percent respectively. Also near the top, concern that “jobs based in the U.S. moving overseas” is considered a major threat by 60 percent of North Carolinians.

The international concerns least considered major threats by North Carolinians were, “a large number of refugees leaving countries like Iraq and Syria,” and “the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,” at 44 percent and 39 percent, respectively. The possible threat of “global climate change” is considered a major threat by 55 percent of those who responded to the poll.

Almost two thirds (64 percent) of North Carolina residents say that it will be best for the future of the country if the U.S. takes an active part in world affairs. Nearly 9 out of 10 (85 percent) say that the world is more dangerous rather than safer.
“As North Carolinians adjust to new leaders in the country, public opinion about foreign affairs continues to take shape,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct faculty member. “For example, we have seen an increase in the desire for the U.S. to take an active part in world affairs.”
Concerns abroad aren’t the only things on the minds of North Carolinians. When asked about finances, their responses were relatively consistent with an HPU Poll conducted just after the election in November 2016. Forty-three percent of North Carolina residents say they are better off financially than they were a year ago, compared to 46 percent of respondents in the November 2016 post-election HPU Poll.

And 15 percent of North Carolinians express concern that they would be worse off financially a year from now, compared to 10 percent who said so in the post-election survey in 2016. Forty-one percent of respondents expected good business conditions in the next 12 months. In November 2016 that number was 43 percent.
“North Carolina residents responding to this survey remain relatively positive and optimistic about current and future economic conditions and their own finances,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and associate professor of political science. “Our next poll will feature our full consumer sentiment index which will tell us more about how people feel about their own finances and the future of the U.S. economy in these changing times.”

 

All adults – International concerns (January/February 2017)

Now, I’d like your opinion about some possible international concerns for the U.S. For each one please let me know if you think that it is a major threat, a minor threat or not a threat to the well being of the United States….

 

North Korea’s nuclear program

Major threat – 72 percent
Minor threat – 20 percent
Not a threat – 4 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 4 percent

 

Russia’s power and influence

Major threat – 61 percent
Minor threat – 28 percent
Not a threat – 8 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 4 percent

 

Jobs based in the U.S. moving overseas

Major threat – 60 percent
Minor threat – 26 percent
Not a threat – 10 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 4 percent

 

Global climate change

Major threat – 55 percent
Minor threat – 23 percent
Not a threat – 19 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 3 percent

 

China’s emergence as a world power

Major threat – 50 percent
Minor threat – 32 percent
Not a threat – 15 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 3 percent

 

A large number of refugees leaving countries like Iraq and Syria

Major threat – 44 percent
Minor threat – 33 percent
Not a threat – 19 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 4 percent

 

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians

Major threat – 39 percent
Minor threat – 40 percent
Not a threat – 15 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 6 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed January 28 – February 3, 2017, n = 405 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)


All adults – Foreign Affairs
(January/February 2017)

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 – 64 percent
Stay out – 29 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed January 28 – February 3, 2017, n = 405 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

All adults – World safer or more dangerous for U.S. (January/February 2017)

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 – 10
More dangerous – 85
Don’t know/Refused – 5

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed January 28 – February 3, 2017, n = 405 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Current Finances – All Adults (January/February 2017)

We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

Better Off – 43 percent
Worse Off – 21 percent
Same/Neither – 34 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 2 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed January 28 – February 3, 2017, n = 405 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Future Finances – All Adults (January/February 2017)

Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now.

Better Off – 42 percent
Worse Off – 15 percent
About the same – 37 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 6 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed January 28 – February 3, 2017, n = 405 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Business Conditions – All Adults (January/February 2017)

Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we’ll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?

Good Times – 41 percent
Bad Times – 32 percent
Neither – 9 percent
Good times with qualifications – 6 percent
Bad times with qualifications – 3 percent
Don’t know/Refused – 9 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed January 28 – February 3, 2017, n = 405 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

The most recent HPU Poll in collaboration with the HPU School of Education was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 2017. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 405 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The registered voter subsample relied on responses from the participants about their own registration status and yielded a total of 373 respondents.  The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.9 percentage points for all adult respondents and an approximate margin of sampling error of 5.1 percent for the self-described registered voters. The data is weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender, race, and party identification. 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. Details from this survey are available at www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2017/02/50memoA.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at 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.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

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

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

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