If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


53% Support Decision to Abandon Color-Coded Threat Alerts

Monday, January 31, 2011

For many Americans, the national color-coded terror alert system had lost much of its original meaning, so it's not surprising that a majority of voters agree with the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to abandon that system in favor of more specific warnings.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 53% favor the government’s decision to abandon the color-coded threat warning system adopted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Twenty-one percent (21%) are opposed, and another 27% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Only 17% think the warnings helped make America safer from terrorism. Sixty-one percent (61%) say the warning system did not make the country safer, but 22% are not sure.

Most voters (62%) correctly identified red as being the highest threat level under the old system. But 23% guessed the wrong color, including 17% who picked orange. Nearly one-out-of-seven voters (15%) are not sure what color represented the highest security threat in the system, 

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who announced the scrapping of the color-coded system last week, also has stated that her department plans on focusing more security measures on rail, ships and mass transit. Forty-four percent (44%) of voters like this idea, while 22% don’t. But a sizable number (34%) are undecided.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 27-28, 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.


Become a member and get full access to all articles and polls starting at $3.95/month.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $3.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.