American voter attitudes have not shifted much on the proposed mosque and Islamic Cultural Center near the World Trade Center site in New York City. About six in ten (61 percent) now think it would be the wrong thing to do, down slightly from the 64 percent who felt that way in August, according to the latest Fox News poll.
About one-third of voters (32 percent) take the opposite view -- that it is appropriate to build a mosque and Islamic Cultural Center near ground zero in lower Manhattan.
There is a notable partisan divide on the issue, with half of Democrats (50 percent) compared to only one in seven Republicans (15 percent) supporting the project. A majority of independents (56 percent) say it is the wrong thing to do.
However, voters agree -- irrespective of their opinion of the project -- that the group promoting the mosque and Islamic Cultural Center has the right to build it. Almost three-quarters take this view (73 percent) -- a significant increase from the 61 percent who felt that way in August. Today, nearly two-thirds of Republicans (62 percent) support the right to build the project near ground zero.
Also, a plurality of voters now feels that most Muslims worldwide are more likely to support the United States (37 percent) than the terrorists (35 percent) in the war against terrorism.
Four years ago, Americans felt Muslims supported the terrorists over the United States by a nearly two-to-one margin (42 percent to 22 percent). A majority of Republicans (52 percent) still feels that Muslims around the world support the terrorists over the United States.
Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll for Fox News among 900 registered voters from September 14 to September 16, 2010. The poll has a 3-point error margin for the total sample.
Ernie Paicopolos is a Principal at Opinion Dynamics Corporation