How United Are Republicans and Democrats About the Threat of Islamic Doctrines?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Writing about recent Pew surveys, the Pew site sums up their findings this way:

Looking both domestically and internationally, Republicans are more concerned than Democrats about the rise of Islamic extremism. About eight-in-ten Republicans (82%) are very concerned when it comes to Islamic extremism in the world and 71% are very concerned about the U.S. specifically; among Democrats, about half (51%) are very concerned internationally and 46% nationally...

An increasing share of the public believes that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, reaching a high since 2002. Currently, 50% say Islam encourages violence more than other religions, up from 43% in July and 38% in February.

Republicans continue to be more likely than Democrats to say Islam encourages violence more than other religions. But increasing shares of both parties express this view. Among Republicans, two-thirds (67%) say Islam is more likely to encourage violence — up 13 points since February; just 23% say Islam does not encourage violence more than others. About four-in-ten Democrats (42%) say Islam is more likely to encourage violence — up 14 points — while 48% say it is not more likely.

Internally, there are divisions within both parties. Conservative Republicans are 20 points more likely than moderates and liberals to say Islam encourages violence more than others (72% vs. 52%). And more conservative and moderate Democrats say this than do liberal Democrats (46% vs. 35%).

Just 33% of those under 30 say Islam encourages violence more than other religions and this sentiment has remained roughly constant over the past year. Older adults, however, are increasingly likely to say that Islam encourages violence. Fully 64% of adults 65 and older say this, an increase of 18 points since February.

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