As part of its effort to educate the public about the dangers of extremism while building best-in-class clearinghouses and databases, CEP conducts extensive and comprehensive survey research in multiple countries. By establishing this ‘base-line’ understanding of the public’s attitudes and knowledge of extremism, CEP is best positioned to 1) measure the efficacy of counter-extremism efforts in multiple nations; 2) gauge the public’s growth in understanding of the dangers of extremism and specific extremist groups; and 3) harness that understanding into CEP projects and campaigns to bring to bear public energy against extremist groups and their supporters.Download Full Report
Islamic extremism & ISIS are seen as the greatest threat to national security
Islamic extremism is seen as the greatest threat to national
security in the U.S. & Europe
– It has doubled in the U.S. from 13% to 26% as the top threat
- Seen as top threat by Republicans, Independents, and Opinion Leaders. Second among Democrats
- –Concern jumped 15% in Europe from 41% in June to 56% in September
- – It has doubled in the U.S. from 13% to 26% as the top threat
ISIS is now seen as a direct threat to the U.S.
– 82% of Americans see ISIS as a direct threat to the U.S.
- Taliban ranks slightly behind at 79%
- Hamas is ranked at 55% and Boko Haram at 35%
- – 82% of Americans see ISIS as a direct threat to the U.S.
Iraq & Syria have grown as a perceived threat since May in U.S.
- – Iraq jumped from 70% to 76%
- – Syria jumped from 65% to 72%
TakeawaysTerrorism & Foreign Policy poll numbers have increased since May
Nearly twice as many Americans & Europeans believe terrorism is the
most important issue today
– Polls increased from 5% to 10% from May to August in the U.S.
- Distinct differences can be shown among Republicans and Democrats
- – Polls nearly doubled from 4% to 9% from June to September in Europe
- – Polls increased from 5% to 10% from May to August in the U.S.
Foreign policy issues rose rapidly as the most important issue in
the U.S. and Europe
- – Foreign policy issues nearly tripled in the U.S. (3% to 8%) from May to August
- – Foreign policy issues in Europe jumped from 1% to 6% from June to September
- Economic issues, healthcare, and education remain top of mind among voters across Europe and the U.S.
American views on action against ISIS
- Americans display war mentality toward ISIS
U.S. voters support recent military strikes on ISIS; plurality would
like to see more:
- – 67% voters support more military action; 22% oppose
- – 80% of Opinion Leaders support more military action; 13% oppose
- – Support is across the board: 78% Republicans; 66% Independents; and 60% Democrats
Majority of voters think we should do more or at least maintain the
current course in fighting ISIS; small minority think we should do
- – 40% want more military action
- – 34% want to stay the course
- – 16% want less
American views on action against Islamic extremism
In May, a plurality believed fighting Islamic extremism should be a
top priority.In August, it moved to where a majority believe it
should be a top priority
- – 51% say it should be a top priority, which is up from 45% in May
- – This is driven by Republican voters, where 66% support this belief
- In May, a plurality of people said the U.S. is spending too much time fighting Islamic extremism
- Today, a plurality believes that the U.S. spends too little time fighting Islamic extremism
European views on action against ISIS
A majority of British, French, Dutch & Swedish voters support U.S.
military engagement against ISIS
- – Spain & Germany oppose U.S. involvement
Europeans are split over whether the U.S. & European allies should
commit ground troops to target ISIS fighters
- – French, Swedish & Dutch voters are more likely to agree, whereas British & German voters are opposed
- Right-of-center voters support ground troops while left-of-center voters are more reluctant to agree