A House committee is expected to begin controversial hearings today about the potential danger of domestic Islamic terrorism, and a sizable number of voters think the government is not paying enough attention to this possible threat. Most voters still worry, too, about homegrown terrorist attacks.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the federal government does not focus enough on the potential threat from domestic Islamic terrorism, although nearly as many (38%) say the government’s anti-terrorism focus is about right. Just 14% believe the government pays too much attention to potential homegrown Islamic terrorists. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
However, 64% are at least somewhat concerned that people who have become U.S. citizens will attempt to commit terrorist acts against the United States, with 33% who are Very Concerned. Thirty-five percent (35%) do not share that concern, but that includes only eight percent (8%) who are Not At Al Concerned.
Still, the level of concern is down from early last May just after an unsuccessful terrorist bombing effort in New York City’s Times Square. At that time, 80% were at least somewhat concerned that people who have attained U.S. citizenship would attempt to commit a terrorist attack against America.
But 53% of voters are also at least somewhat concerned that efforts to identify and arrest domestic terrorists will end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens, including 21% who are Very Concerned. Forty-three percent (43%) express little concern about this possibility, with 11% who are Not At All Concerned.
(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 March 8-9 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.
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 $4.95 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.