The Slatest

Number of Americans Who Say Terrorism Is Country’s Biggest Problem Doubles in Four Days

A French soldier in a Paris subway station on Nov. 17, 2015.

Photo by Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, the day of the Paris terror attacks, 9.7 percent of Americans in a Reuters rolling-average poll  said that terrorism was the most important problem facing the U.S. That was less than the portion of respondents who identified unemployment as the most important problem (11.2 percent) and less than half of the portion who said the most important problem was the economy in general (19.7 percent). Just four days later, those numbers are very different:


As you can see, terrorism has doubled in popularity as a response and is now the leading concern in the poll. (“Economy” and “unemployment” responses combined, though, still outpoll “terrorism.”) The mass of Republican governors who are making noise about not letting Syrian refugees into their states, it seems, is on to something politically (if not logically, given that most of the individuals identified as having carried out the Paris attacks were French, not Syrian). A different Reuters poll, meanwhile, found that the presidential candidates who voters most trust to address terrorism are Hillary Clinton, who famously voted to support the disastrous Iraq war, and Donald Trump, who is Donald Trump. We live in unnerving times.