HPU Poll: North Carolinians See China and Russia as Biggest Threats to U.S. National Security

Mar 01st, 2022

HPU Poll: North Carolinians See China and Russia as Biggest Threats to U.S. National Security

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 1, 2022 – In the latest High Point University Poll, many North Carolinians saw Russia and China as the biggest threats to U.S. national security prior to Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine last week. When asked which country they perceive as the single biggest threat to U.S. national security, almost equal proportions of North Carolinians said China (33%) and Russia (33%). North Korea (11%) and Iran (6%) were less likely to be seen as the biggest threat to U.S. national security.

Nearly half (45%) of North Carolinians said they now see Russia as an enemy of the U.S. rather than as a partner (10%) or competitor (27%) of the U.S.

Some North Carolinians have been watching the situation between Russia and Ukraine carefully. Prior to Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine last week, 42% said they had heard a lot about Russia’s military buildup near its border with Ukraine. About two out of five (40%) said they had heard a little bit about the situation, and 10% said they had heard nothing at all about Russia’s military buildup on its border with Ukraine.

Prior to Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine last week, nearly half (47%) of North Carolinians saw Russia’s military buildup near its border with Ukraine as a major threat to U.S. interests, while another quarter (27%) saw the Russian military buildup as a minor threat to U.S. interests. Relatively few North Carolinians saw no threat to U.S. interests with Russia’s military buildup on its border with Ukraine.

Prior to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine, more than one-third (38%) of North Carolina residents said the Biden Administration had been very effective or somewhat effective in dealing with Russia’s threats against Ukraine. A slightly larger percentage (45%) of people in North Carolina said the Biden Administration’s efforts to deal with Russia’s threats had not been very effective (20%) or not at all effective (25%) prior to Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine.

North Carolinians were also somewhat divided over the U.S. role in the world and the relative level of safety for the U.S. and its people in the international system.

More North Carolina residents (44%) said the U.S. should take an active part in world affairs than the approximately one-third (37%) who said the U.S. should stay out of world affairs.

About two-thirds (66%) of North Carolina’s public see the world becoming more dangerous for the U.S. and the American people. Nearly half (46%) of North Carolina residents said they feel less safe than a year ago. Only 15% said they feel safer than a year ago.

“In the days before Russia’s recent large-scale invasion of Ukraine, many people in North Carolina were paying close attention, and we have evidence in this and other polls that their views of Russia were becoming somewhat more negative,” said Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Survey Research Center and chair of the HPU Political Science department. “North Carolinians have seen the world as an increasingly dangerous place for a while, but there may be shifts in which threats are seen as more serious.”

HPU Poll Foreign Affairs

All adults – Take an Active Part or Stay Out of Foreign Affairs (February 2022)

Now we would like to ask you some questions about foreign affairs issues. 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 – 44%
Stay out – 37%
Unsure – 20%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

All adults – Safer or More Dangerous World (February 2022)

 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 – 18%
More dangerous – 66%
Unsure – 16%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

HPU Poll Safe or Dangerous World

All adults – Safer or Less Safe than Last Year (February 2022)

Do you feel safer or less safe than you did a year ago?

Safer – 15%
Less safe – 46%

About the same – 35%
Unsure – 5%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

NC residents – Single Biggest National Security Threat to US (February 2022)

Which of these countries do you perceive as the single biggest threat to U.S. national security? (COUNTRIES PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER)

China – 33%

Russia – 33%

North Korea – 11 %

Iran – 6%

Some other country – 2%

Don’t know/Refuse/Unsure – 16%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

NC residents – US Relationship with Russia (February 2022)

On balance, do you think of Russia as a partner of the U.S., a competitor of the U.S. or an enemy of the U.S.?

A partner – 10%

A competitor – 27%

An enemy – 45%

Unsure – 18%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

 

NC residents – How Much Heard about Russian Build Up (February 2022)

 How much have you heard about Russia’s military buildup near its border with Ukraine?

A lot – 42%

A little – 40%

Nothing at all – 10%

Unsure – 8%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

NC residents – How Much of a Threat to US Interest is Russian Buildup (February 2022)

How much of a threat to U.S. interests is Russia’s military buildup near its border with Ukraine?

A major threat – 47%

A minor threat – 27%

Not a threat – 7%

Unsure – 19%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

NC residents – Biden Administration Effectiveness Against Russian Threats (February 2022)

How effective do you think the Biden Administration has been in dealing with Russia’s threats against Ukraine?

Very effective – 14%

Somewhat effective – 24%

Not very effective – 20%

Not at all effective – 25%

Unsure – 16%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

NC residents – Should Biden Administration Do More to Protect Ukraine (February 2022)

Would you say that the Biden Administration should do more to protect Ukraine from Russia or let Ukraine go it alone against Russia?

Biden Administration should do more – 43%

Biden Administration should let Ukraine go at it alone – 26%

Unsure – 31%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Feb. 11 – Feb. 24, n = 848 and credibility interval is +/- 3.6%)

 

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Feb. 11 through Feb. 24, 2022, and an online survey was fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 848 adults interviewed online (810 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (38 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with dynata, formerly Research Now SSI, to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using the SRC’s Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, and their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classic margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.4 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.12 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. The final stage of weighting ensures proper weighting of the online and live interviews. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional errors into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available here.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at theSurvey Research Center website. 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. See more information here.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter here.

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