Published April 17, 2013
The Boston Marathon bombings have sparked more anger than fear among Americans, who are confident those responsible will be caught.
That’s according to a Fox News overnight poll of voters nationwide.
Two explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday killed three and injured 176.
When asked which best describes how they feel about the bombings, 58 percent of voters say: angry. That’s double the number who feels worried (27 percent).
On Tuesday authorities said they had no suspects in custody. Even so, most voters -- 79 percent -- are confident the government will catch those responsible. That includes 41 percent who are very confident and another 38 percent who are somewhat confident the person or people involved will be found.
By a wide 62-20 percent margin, voters think homegrown terrorists are more likely than Islamic terrorists to have been behind the Boston attacks. Nineteen percent are unsure.
In general, voters say homegrown terrorists like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh (51 percent) pose a greater threat on U.S. soil than Islamic terrorists (26 percent).
While 34 percent of voters are worried about a terrorist attack happening in their area, nearly twice as many -- 65 percent -- are not concerned.
That’s almost identical to views in a Fox News poll immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks when 35 percent were worried about an attack in their community, but most -- 64 percent -- were not (September 2001).
The new poll shows Northeasterners (42 percent) are more likely to be worried than those living in other areas of the country, with Westerners being the least concerned (25 percent).
Over the years, the number worried about an attack has gone as high as 43 percent (October 2001), and as low as 20 percent (September 2002).
If something were to happen, a majority thinks their community is ready: 69 percent of voters say their local authorities are prepared to handle a terrorist attack. That’s up from 47 percent in 2006, and the previous high of 58 percent (September 2002).
Almost all voters -- 81 percent -- say the bombings won’t change how they lead their everyday life, while 18 percent will. Those living in the Northeast (27 percent) are more likely than those in other regions to say the event will cause them to change things at least a little.
Meanwhile, voters are divided over whether they would be willing to give up some personal freedom to reduce the threat of terrorism. Forty-three percent say they would, down from 54 percent who felt that way the last time Fox asked the question in 2006. Forty-five percent say they wouldn’t give up personal freedoms, which is the highest recorded in a Fox poll going back to 1996.
The number saying they would give up personal freedoms in the fight against terrorism spiked at 71 percent the month after the 9/11 attacks (October 2001).
The marathon bombing story has captured the attention of the country. Fully 80 percent of voters are following it very or somewhat closely. That increases to 87 percent in the Northeast.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 619 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) on April 16. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.