Illegal Immigration, Loss of Jobs to Foreign Countries, Natural Disaster and Energy Shortage Seen as Events Most Likely to be Major Threats to the U.S. in the Next Five Years

Other possible threats seen as likely by many people include impact of trade and budget deficits, terrorist attacks, and rising sea levels

Feb 12, 2007, 00:00 ET from Harris Interactive

    ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent Harris Poll asked a cross-section of U.S. adults to say how likely they think it is that various possible events would be "a major threat to the United States in the next five years." Two of these possible threats are seen as extremely or very likely by over half of the public:     * 55 percent of all adults think it is extremely or very likely that a       large number of illegal immigrants coming into this country would be a       threat;     * 52 percent of adults believe that a significant loss of jobs to foreign       countries would be an extremely or very likely threat.     These are some of the results of a Harris Poll of 1,508 U.S. adults, surveyed online between January 5 and 12, 2007. However, because split samples were used, each individual item on the list was asked of between 400 and 500 adults.     The only other possible event seen as an extremely or very likely threat by more than 40 percent of all adults is a significant natural disaster destroying areas of a major city (43%). Almost as many (40%) think that our energy needs exceeding supplies is an extremely or very likely threat. Thirty-five percent feel that a trade imbalance leading to foreign ownership of the nation's debt and property is an extremely or very likely threat.     Substantial, but smaller, percentages of people feel that various types of terrorist attacks are a threat:     * 26 percent think that attacks against a number of airplanes is an       extremely or very likely threat;     * 24 percent think that an attack with biological weapons is an extremely       or very likely threat;     * However, fewer people (14%) think an attack with a nuclear weapon is an       extremely or very likely threat.     Relatively few people think any of the following are extremely or very likely threats:     * A major stock market crash (11%);     * A large scale Avian flu epidemic (11%);     * The banking system experiencing a major financial collapse (14%);     * A world war (15%);     * Major riots by groups within the U.S. (20%).      Differences between Republicans and Democrats     There are a few potential threats that are viewed as more or less likely by Republicans and Democrats. Specifically:     * Republicans (73%) are much more likely than Democrats (43%) to see large     scale illegal immigration as an extremely or very likely threat;     * Democrats (57%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (42%) to see a     significant loss of jobs to foreign countries as an extremely or very     likely threat;     * Democrats (35%) are three times more likely than Republicans (12%) to     see the government not being able to borrow money, due to the debt load;     * Democrats are also much more likely to see a significant rise in ocean     levels as a very or extremely likely threat (31% vs. 11%).                                    TABLE 1  LIKELIHOOD THAT 15 POSSIBLE EVENTS WILL BE MAJOR THREAT TO U.S. IN NEXT FIVE                                     YEARS     "There are a number of possible threats that the U.S. might face. How likely     do you think the following will be a major threat to the U.S. in the next 5                                    years?"     Base: All Adults                       Extremely Extremely Very         Somewhat Not at  Not at                        /Very    Likely  Likely Likely  Likely    All     All                        Likely                                  Likely Familiar                        (NET)                                            with                                                                         This                           %       %       %       %       %       %       %     A large number      of illegal      immigrants      come into the      country             55      37      18      20      14       7       4     A significant      loss of jobs to      foreign countries   52      28      23      20      18       8       2     A significant      natural disaster      destroys large      areas of a      major city          43      21      22      23      24       8       3     Energy needs      significantly      exceed energy      supplies            40      17      23      23      22      11       5     Significant trade      imbalances lead      to foreign      ownership of the      country's debts      and property        35      15      20      21      24      12       9     Terrorists launch a      number of attacks      against airplanes   26      10      16      21      35      15       3     The national      government becomes      unable to borrow      money due to a      huge debt load      26      10      16      17      25      26       5     The country is      attacked with      biological      weapons             24       8      16      20      38      15       3     A significant rise      in the level of      the oceans          23       8      16      21      25      22       8     Major riots by      groups within      this country        20       8      12      23      33      22       3     A major world war      occurs involving      most industrialized      nations             15       7       7      22      30      29       4     The banking system      experiences a major      financial collapse  14       6       8      15      24      42       5     A city within the      country is attacked      with a nuclear      weapon              14       3      11      12      35      35       3     A large scale avian      flu epidemic        11       3       9      21      34      28       5     A major stock      market crash      occurs              11       4       6      23      35      24       7      Note: Totals may not add to 100% because of rounding.                                       TABLE 2          POSSIBLE THREATS SEEN AS EXTREMELY OR VERY LIKELY . BY PARTY     "There are a number of possible threats that the U.S. might face. How likely     do you think the following will be a major threat to the U.S. in the next 5                                    years?"     Base: All Adults                                                         Party                                Total                                          Republican    Democrat   Independent                                  %            %            %            %     A large number of illegal      immigrants come into      the country                55           73           43           57     A significant loss of jobs      to foreign countries       52           42           57           54     A significant natural      disaster destroys large      areas of a major city      43           39           46           45     Energy needs significantly      exceed energy supplies     40           32           41           42     Significant trade      imbalances lead to foreign      ownership of the country's      debts and property         35           32           32           44     Terrorists launch a number      of attacks against      airplanes                  26           21           27           31     The national government      becomes unable to borrow      money due to a huge      debt load                  26           12           35           25     The country is attacked      with biological weapons    24           17           29           24     A significant rise in the      level of the oceans        23           11           31           23     Major riots by groups      within this country        20           16           23           20     A major world war occurs      involving most      industrialized nations     15           17           16           12     The banking system      experiences a major      financial collapse         14            9           14           13     A city within the country      is attacked with a      nuclear weapon             14           14           14           15     A large scale avian flu      epidemic                   11            8           15           11     A major stock market crash      occurs                     11            5           10           17       Methodology     This Harris Poll(R) was conducted online within the United States between January 5 and 12, 2007, among 1,508 adults (aged 18 and over). However, because split samples were used, each individual item on the list was asked of between 400 and 500 adults. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.     All surveys are subject to several sources of error. These include: sampling error (because only a sample of a population is interviewed); measurement error due to question wording and/or question order, deliberately or unintentionally inaccurate responses, nonresponse (including refusals), interviewer effects (when live interviewers are used) and weighting.     With one exception (sampling error) the magnitude of the errors that result cannot be estimated. There is, therefore, no way to calculate a finite "margin of error" for any survey and the use of these words should be avoided.     With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 400, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-5 percentage points. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.     J W11351Z     Q 625      About Harris Interactive     Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.     To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at http://go.hpolsurveys.com/HarrisPoll.     Press Contact:     Tracey McNerney     Harris Interactive     585-214-7756      Harris Interactive Inc. 2/07  

SOURCE Harris Interactive
    ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent Harris Poll asked a cross-section of U.S. adults to say how likely they think it is that various possible events would be "a major threat to the United States in the next five years." Two of these possible threats are seen as extremely or very likely by over half of the public:     * 55 percent of all adults think it is extremely or very likely that a       large number of illegal immigrants coming into this country would be a       threat;     * 52 percent of adults believe that a significant loss of jobs to foreign       countries would be an extremely or very likely threat.     These are some of the results of a Harris Poll of 1,508 U.S. adults, surveyed online between January 5 and 12, 2007. However, because split samples were used, each individual item on the list was asked of between 400 and 500 adults.     The only other possible event seen as an extremely or very likely threat by more than 40 percent of all adults is a significant natural disaster destroying areas of a major city (43%). Almost as many (40%) think that our energy needs exceeding supplies is an extremely or very likely threat. Thirty-five percent feel that a trade imbalance leading to foreign ownership of the nation's debt and property is an extremely or very likely threat.     Substantial, but smaller, percentages of people feel that various types of terrorist attacks are a threat:     * 26 percent think that attacks against a number of airplanes is an       extremely or very likely threat;     * 24 percent think that an attack with biological weapons is an extremely       or very likely threat;     * However, fewer people (14%) think an attack with a nuclear weapon is an       extremely or very likely threat.     Relatively few people think any of the following are extremely or very likely threats:     * A major stock market crash (11%);     * A large scale Avian flu epidemic (11%);     * The banking system experiencing a major financial collapse (14%);     * A world war (15%);     * Major riots by groups within the U.S. (20%).      Differences between Republicans and Democrats     There are a few potential threats that are viewed as more or less likely by Republicans and Democrats. Specifically:     * Republicans (73%) are much more likely than Democrats (43%) to see large     scale illegal immigration as an extremely or very likely threat;     * Democrats (57%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (42%) to see a     significant loss of jobs to foreign countries as an extremely or very     likely threat;     * Democrats (35%) are three times more likely than Republicans (12%) to     see the government not being able to borrow money, due to the debt load;     * Democrats are also much more likely to see a significant rise in ocean     levels as a very or extremely likely threat (31% vs. 11%).                                    TABLE 1  LIKELIHOOD THAT 15 POSSIBLE EVENTS WILL BE MAJOR THREAT TO U.S. IN NEXT FIVE                                     YEARS     "There are a number of possible threats that the U.S. might face. How likely     do you think the following will be a major threat to the U.S. in the next 5                                    years?"     Base: All Adults                       Extremely Extremely Very         Somewhat Not at  Not at                        /Very    Likely  Likely Likely  Likely    All     All                        Likely                                  Likely Familiar                        (NET)                                            with                                                                         This                           %       %       %       %       %       %       %     A large number      of illegal      immigrants      come into the      country             55      37      18      20      14       7       4     A significant      loss of jobs to      foreign countries   52      28      23      20      18       8       2     A significant      natural disaster      destroys large      areas of a      major city          43      21      22      23      24       8       3     Energy needs      significantly      exceed energy      supplies            40      17      23      23      22      11       5     Significant trade      imbalances lead      to foreign      ownership of the      country's debts      and property        35      15      20      21      24      12       9     Terrorists launch a      number of attacks      against airplanes   26      10      16      21      35      15       3     The national      government becomes      unable to borrow      money due to a      huge debt load      26      10      16      17      25      26       5     The country is      attacked with      biological      weapons             24       8      16      20      38      15       3     A significant rise      in the level of      the oceans          23       8      16      21      25      22       8     Major riots by      groups within      this country        20       8      12      23      33      22       3     A major world war      occurs involving      most industrialized      nations             15       7       7      22      30      29       4     The banking system      experiences a major      financial collapse  14       6       8      15      24      42       5     A city within the      country is attacked      with a nuclear      weapon              14       3      11      12      35      35       3     A large scale avian      flu epidemic        11       3       9      21      34      28       5     A major stock      market crash      occurs              11       4       6      23      35      24       7      Note: Totals may not add to 100% because of rounding.                                       TABLE 2          POSSIBLE THREATS SEEN AS EXTREMELY OR VERY LIKELY . BY PARTY     "There are a number of possible threats that the U.S. might face. How likely     do you think the following will be a major threat to the U.S. in the next 5                                    years?"     Base: All Adults                                                         Party                                Total                                          Republican    Democrat   Independent                                  %            %            %            %     A large number of illegal      immigrants come into      the country                55           73           43           57     A significant loss of jobs      to foreign countries       52           42           57           54     A significant natural      disaster destroys large      areas of a major city      43           39           46           45     Energy needs significantly      exceed energy supplies     40           32           41           42     Significant trade      imbalances lead to foreign      ownership of the country's      debts and property         35           32           32           44     Terrorists launch a number      of attacks against      airplanes                  26           21           27           31     The national government      becomes unable to borrow      money due to a huge      debt load                  26           12           35           25     The country is attacked      with biological weapons    24           17           29           24     A significant rise in the      level of the oceans        23           11           31           23     Major riots by groups      within this country        20           16           23           20     A major world war occurs      involving most      industrialized nations     15           17           16           12     The banking system      experiences a major      financial collapse         14            9           14           13     A city within the country      is attacked with a      nuclear weapon             14           14           14           15     A large scale avian flu      epidemic                   11            8           15           11     A major stock market crash      occurs                     11            5           10           17       Methodology     This Harris Poll(R) was conducted online within the United States between January 5 and 12, 2007, among 1,508 adults (aged 18 and over). However, because split samples were used, each individual item on the list was asked of between 400 and 500 adults. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.     All surveys are subject to several sources of error. These include: sampling error (because only a sample of a population is interviewed); measurement error due to question wording and/or question order, deliberately or unintentionally inaccurate responses, nonresponse (including refusals), interviewer effects (when live interviewers are used) and weighting.     With one exception (sampling error) the magnitude of the errors that result cannot be estimated. There is, therefore, no way to calculate a finite "margin of error" for any survey and the use of these words should be avoided.     With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 400, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-5 percentage points. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.     J W11351Z     Q 625      About Harris Interactive     Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.     To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at http://go.hpolsurveys.com/HarrisPoll.     Press Contact:     Tracey McNerney     Harris Interactive     585-214-7756      Harris Interactive Inc. 2/07  SOURCE Harris Interactive