According to a Rasmussen poll released today, Obama supporters are split between viewing radical Muslims and the Tea Party as America’s biggest threat of terrorism. Twenty-six percent reported the Tea Party is the biggest threat while 29 percent reported the top threat was radical Muslims. Among the strongest supporters of President Barack Obama’s presidency, respondents were more concerned about the Tea Party than any other group.
Fifty-one percent of likely U.S. voters as a whole, including those who disapprove of the president’s job, considered radical Muslims to be the biggest threat to national security while only 13 percent cited the Tea Party. Thirteen percent pointed to other religious and political extremists and 2 percent indicated the Occupy Movement.
As for those who disapprove of the president’s job, 75 percent name radical Muslims and only 1 percent name the Tea Party as the largest threat.
The poll also revealed that when controlling for income, the wealthier respondents feared the Tea Party more than the Occupy movement. This is somewhat unexpected given the Occupy’s deprecation of the 1 percent and the Tea Party’s stand against high taxation. Interestingly, as one moves down the income bracket, respondents are more likely to view the Tea Party and the Occupy movement as equal terror threats.
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The Tea Party increased in popularity this year with most voters in agreement that the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups was politically motivated and came from Washington. The federal government took a dip in popularity with 56 percent of voters reporting the national government as a threat to individual rights. The poll, distributed June 23 to 25, might reflect concerns after the National Security Agency leak.
The poll reveals a deep rift between the perceptions of danger of two camps: supporters of the president and those who disapprove. The fault line is just that, a discrepancy between expectations of whose fault the next attack will be. However, voters of all stripes indicate high concerns over terrorist attacks — be they from the Middle East or the Midwest.