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43% Are At Least Somewhat Concerned Japanese Radiation May Reach United States

A sizable number of voters now worry that radiation released by the ongoing Japanese nuclear disaster may come to our shores.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters are now at least somewhat concerned that any radiation that escapes from Japanese nuclear plants may reach the United States, including 17% who are Very Concerned about this possibility. Most voters (56%) don’t share that concern, with 17% who are Not At All Concerned. (To see survey question wording, click here).

Women are more concerned than men about the possibility of radiation reaching the United States. African-Americans are more worried about this potential danger than whites are.

The survey was taken Monday and Tuesday evenings amidst contradictory news reports about the ongoing and deteriorating situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Despite calming statements from most public health officials, there has been a run in California on potassium iodide tablets which help protect against radiation-induced thyroid cancer

Americans are definitely monitoring events in Japan. Ninety-one percent (91%) of voters say they are following news reports about the recent earthquake in Japan that led to the nuclear catastrophe. This includes 53% who say they are following Very Closely.

(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 nationwide was conducted on March 14-15, 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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