People In The US Are Pretty Sure Their Hometown Won't Be Attacked By Terrorists

A new survey from BuzzFeed News and polling firm Ipsos asked how people around the country actually feel about terrorism.

As the US presidential race — finally — hits the home stretch, several polls show people saying that terrorism is the second-most pressing issue the country faces, right after jobs.

Rather than asking about which candidate people thought would be better at combatting terrorism, though, we decided to go a bit deeper into their views on terror and how it affects their daily lives.

BuzzFeed News worked with the polling firm Ipsos to survey 1,006 Americans from across the country online about their views on terror, covering a period from August 12–15. Here's what we found:

1. For starters, it seems like most people in the US don't believe that their homes face a high risk of coming under attack from terrorists.

2. And despite their concerns, that fear isn't affecting people's travel plans.

3. Most are also pretty sure that Europe and the US have less to worry about when it comes to terrorism than the Middle East does.

4. But if you have a child in your household? Your worry about terrorism skyrockets.

5. People at least say they're as emotionally torn up about the truck attack in Nice as they are a bombing in Baghdad.

We asked people if they agreed or disagreed with two statements: "Hearing about 90 people killed by a terrorist in a truck in France really impacts me emotionally" and the same about "250 people killed by terrorists at a soccer event in Baghdad."

Seventy-six percent of people agreed with the statement about Nice compared with 72% of people agreeing with the Baghdad statement. Women were more willing to say that they were emotionally impacted than men in both cases — 84% versus 67% and 80% to 63% respectively.

Two interesting points: People in the Midwest were the least likely to say they were impacted emotionally by the two terror attacks listed. Only 65% of those polled said they agreed about Baghdad — compared with 75% in the South — and 69% about Nice, compared with 80% in the Northwest. And on the whole, white Americans polled were less likely to say that they were impacted by the Baghdad attack than other races: 70% to 79%.

(And we know: People say a lot of things to avoid looking bad during surveys. But to try to avoid that, Ipsos randomized the questions, so half the people got asked their feelings about Baghdad first and half about Nice, so in theory it works out.)

6. As for what they want the government to actually do to prevent terrorism, it's a bit of a toss-up.

7. The breakdown becomes a little more clear, though, when you ask along party lines. Republicans seem to favor military action by a strong plurality versus Democrats' faith in building up the youth.

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