Friday, November 20, 2015
President Obama, Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats refuse to say America is at war with “radical Islamic terrorism” for fear of insulting all Muslims, but voters beg to disagree.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the United States is at war with radical Islamic terrorism. Just 24% share the president’s position and disagree. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Even 56% of Democrats believe America is at war with radical Islamic terrorism, a view shared by 70% of Republicans and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major party.
A staggering 92% of all voters now regard radical Islamic terrorism as a serious threat to the United States. This includes 73% who say it is a Very Serious one, up 23 points from 50% in October of last year.
Voters are also more reluctant now to agree with Obama that the radical Islamic State group (ISIS) which masterminded the massacres in Paris last weekend is not a reflection of Islam itself. A plurality (46%) still thinks the president is right when he says ISIS does not represent true Islamic beliefs. But that’s down noticeably from 58% who felt that way in February after the president gave a speech equating the atrocities committed by ISIS with past sins of Christianity. Thirty-five percent (35%) now believe ISIS does represent Islamic beliefs. One-in-five voters (19%) are not sure.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 17-18, 2015 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.
Citing the links between Syrian refugees and the killings in Paris, more than two-dozen governors oppose Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 of those refugees to this country. The House yesterday passed a bipartisan measure “pausing” Obama’s plan, with enough votes to override his threatened veto, but Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has vowed to prevent the measure from passing in his chamber.
Voters strongly believe, however, that the Syrian refugees pose a national security risk, and most oppose settling them in the state where they live.
Sizable majorities across most demographic categories consider radical Islamic terrorism a Very Serious threat to the United States. The majority of voters in nearly all categories also believe the United States is at war with radical Islamic terrorism.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of Democrats agree with the president, though, that ISIS does not represent the true beliefs of Islam. Just 27% of Republicans and 44% of unaffiliated voters share that view.
The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to disagree with the president’s assessment of what ISIS stands for.
Voters who think the United States is at war with radical Islamic terrorism are evenly divided over the question of whether ISIS represents true Islamic beliefs. Sixty percent (60%) of those who do not feel America is at war agree with Obama.
The Republican presidential hopefuls say if America doesn’t identify radical Islamic terrorism as the enemy, it can’t begin to win the War on Terror.
As recently as January, 52% of all voters said Islam as practiced today encourages violence more than most other religions, and 75% said Islamic religious leaders need to do more to emphasize the peaceful beliefs of their faith.
Even before the horrific events in Paris, voters remained less confident of their safety here at home than they have ever been.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) consider ISIS a Very Serious threat. Forty-nine percent (49%) feel the federal government is not devoting enough attention to the potential threat of domestic Islamic terrorism. Both of these findings also came before the weekend of terror in Paris.
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