HPU Poll: North Carolinians see ISIS, North Korea and Cyber-Attacks as Top Foreign Threats

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 11, 2017 The High Point University Poll finds a majority of North Carolinians in favor of the U.S. taking an active role in world affairs, with their top concerns including ISIS, North Korea and Russia as major threats to U.S. security.

Large majorities of North Carolina residents rated “the Islamic militant group known as ISIS” (78 percent), “North Korea’s nuclear program” (77 percent) and “cyber-attacks from other countries” (76 percent) as major threats. A previous HPU Poll in February 2017 found that a similar 72 percent of North Carolinians considered North Korea’s nuclear weapons a major threat.   

The middle tier of concerns included “jobs based in the U.S. moving overseas” (65 percent, major threat) and “Russia’s power and influence” (54 percent). In the February HPU Poll, 61 percent saw Russia as a major threat and 60 percent said the same thing about jobs going overseas.

The international concerns North Carolinians least considered major threats were, “a large number of refugees leaving countries like Iraq and Syria” (38 percent), “China’s power and influence” (47 percent) and “global climate change” (49 percent). The earlier HPU Poll found that 55 percent of North Carolina residents considered global climate change a major threat while, 44 percent said that refugees leaving countries like Iraq and Syria were major threats.   

Just over half (56 percent) of North Carolinians say it is best for the U.S.’s future to take an active part in world affairs rather than stay out. Earlier this year, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of North Carolina residents said that.   

“North Carolinians’ desire for the U.S. to take an active part in world affairs has decreased since the beginning of the year,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct faculty member. “North Carolinians still believe ‘North Korea’s nuclear program’ is a major threat. This new HPU Poll also found public opinion to include ‘the Islamic militant group known as ISIS’ and ‘cyber-attacks from other countries’ as additional major threats.”

 

All adults – Foreign Affairs (October 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 – 56 percent

Stay out – 32 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 12 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 28 – Oct. 6, 2017, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

All adults – International concerns (October 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….


Islamic militant group known as ISIS

Major threat – 78 percent

Minor threat – 16 percent

Not a threat – 2 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 4 percent

 

North Korea’s nuclear program

Major threat – 77 percent

Minor threat – 16 percent

Not a threat – 4 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 3 percent

 

Cyber-attacks from other countries

Major threat – 76 percent

Minor threat – 17 percent

Not a threat – 2 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 5 percent

 

Jobs based in the U.S. moving overseas

Major threat – 65 percent

Minor threat – 25 percent

Not a threat – 7 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 3 percent

 

Russia’s power and influence

Major threat – 54 percent

Minor threat – 35 percent

Not a threat – 7 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 5 percent

 

Global climate change

Major threat – 49 percent

Minor threat – 29 percent

Not a threat – 17 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 5 percent

 

China’s power and influence

Major threat – 47 percent

Minor threat – 38 percent

Not a threat – 10 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 6 percent

 

A large number of refugees leaving countries like Iraq and Syria

Major threat – 38 percent

Minor threat – 34 percent

Not a threat – 20 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 9 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 28 – Oct. 6, 2017, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sept. 28 through Oct. 6, 2017. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 404 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.9 percentage points for all adult respondents. The data is weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender, race, education, 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 http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2017/10/53memoA.pdf.

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.

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 http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

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

Dr. Martin Kifer, department chair and 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 and an adjunct professor of survey research methods.

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