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81% Following Hurricane Irene, 63% Like News Coverage

Monday, August 29, 2011

Most Americans closely followed news about Hurricane Irene as it neared our shores and give good marks to the media coverage of threatening bad weather.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of Adults were following recent news reports about Irene at least somewhat closely, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That includes 48% who were following Very Closely. Just 18% say they were not following very closely, if at all. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Sixty-two percent (62%) say they were regularly following weather reports to check the course of Hurricane Irene as it threatened the east coast of the United States and then struck on Friday and into the weekend. Thirty-six percent (36%) were not regularly keeping track of the hurricane.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of Americans say they live close enough to a shoreline to be impacted by a hurricane, and of that group 74% were regularly following weather reports to monitor Irene’s progress.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of all adults rate the media coverage of threatening weather as about right. Just 28% say the media gives too much coverage to incidents like Irene. Only seven percent (7%) think there’s not enough coverage. There’s little difference of opinion over the quality of threatening weather coverage between those who live close to a shoreline at risk from a hurricane and those who don’t.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on August 26-27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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