Half of all voters consider radical Muslims the bigger terrorist threat facing the nation, but supporters of President Obama consider the Tea Party to be as big a danger.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters consider radical Muslims to be the bigger threat to the United States today. Thirteen percent (13%) view the Tea Party that way, and another 13% consider other political and religious extremists to be the larger danger. Six percent (6%) point to local militia groups. Two percent (2%) see the Occupy Wall Street movement as the bigger terrorist threat. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
However, among those who approve of the president’s job performance, just 29% see radical Muslims as the bigger threat. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it’s the Tea Party that concerns them most. Among those who Strongly Approve of the president, more fear the Tea Party than radical Muslims.
As for those who disapprove of Obama’s performance, 75% consider radical Muslims to be the bigger terrorist threat. Just one percent (1%) name the Tea Party.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 22-23, 2013 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.
Interestingly, while the Occupy movement was allegedly targeting the “one percent”, upper income Americans are more likely than others to see the Tea Party as the bigger terror threat. Among those who earn six-figure incomes, 21% consider the Tea Party the bigger threat, while just two percent (2%) say the same of the Occupy movement. Among Americans who earn less than $30,000 a year, 12% see the Tea Party as the bigger threat, and seven percent (7%) say that description best applies to the Occupy movement.
The Tea Party received a boost in popularity earlier this year following revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted it and other conservative groups. Most voters believe the targeting was politically motivated and that the decision was made in Washington.
Conservatives overwhelmingly see radical Muslims as the greater terror threat. Liberals are fairly evenly divided between radical Muslims and the Tea Party.
Twenty percent (20%) of government workers see the Tea Party as the nation’s bigger terror threat. Twelve percent (12%) of private sector workers hold that view.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that terrorist groups will soon gain access to nuclear weapons, including 34% who feel it is Very Likely.
However, 57% believe economic challenges represent the biggest threat to the United States. Half as many (27%) see terrorist attacks as the biggest threat.