Just 48 percent of Americans say it is necessary to sacrifice some rights and freedoms to fight terrorism – a decrease of 16 points from 2011.
WHY IT MATTERS – Americans’ attitudes towards sacrificing individual freedom for safety tends to influence voting behaviors.
THE NUMBERS – A recent Associated Press-NORC Center Poll asked Americans “if they believed it necessary to sacrifice their rights and freedoms to prevent terrorism.”
- 48 percent – Agreed
- 50 percent – Disagreed
When broken down by political party, Republicans (44 percent) said it was sometimes necessary, Democrats (55 percent) said they believed it was necessary, and Independent (42 percent) believed it necessary. This was a decrease from a 2011 poll that found Republicans (69 percent) and Democrats (59 percent) who agreed it was sometimes required.
The survey also asked U.S. adults whether they supported the federal government listening to phone calls made outside the U.S. without warrants.
- 28 percent – Supported the practice
- 44 percent – Opposed the practice
- 28 percent – Neither supported nor opposed the practice
The survey also analyzed attitudes towards forms of surveillance by ethnicity, asking whether they opposed the government listening to foreign calls without a warrant.
- 48 percent of White adults – Opposed
- 34 percent of Black adults – Opposed
- 34 percent of Hispanic adults – Opposed
BOTTOM LINE – Many Americans – Republicans, Democrats, and independents – have misgivings about how American intelligence agencies operate.
GO DEEPER –