Poll: Terror now voters top concern; majority opposes Obama

A new Bloomberg poll, taken after the attacks in Paris, shows a sharp spike in Americans' concerns about terrorism in general and the Islamic State in particular.

Twenty-one percent say ISIS is the most important issue facing the country right now, with an additional 14 percent saying terrorism is the most important issue -- for a total of 35 percent. By way of comparison, 11 percent say unemployment and jobs, 14 percent say a decline in real income, and three percent say taxes -- for a total of 28 percent who say economic topics are the most important issue facing the country. For a long time, polls have consistently shown jobs and the economy as the voters' top concern. So the balance between the two topics -- economic issues and terrorism/national security -- has changed, at least for the moment.

Perhaps more importantly for the Obama administration, the poll says just 28 percent agree with the president's policy on Syrian refugees. Bloomberg gave respondents three choices. Should the U.S. "proceed with the plan to resettle 10,000 refugees without religious screening," or "resettle only Christian refugees from Syria," or "not accept any Syrian refugees into the U.S.?" Fifty-three percent say they favor not allowing any Syrian refugees into the U.S. Another 11 percent say they would favor allowing only Christian refugees from Syria into the country. And 28 percent favor accepting Syrian refugees without any religious screening -- President Obama's position. (Obama has called refusing to accept Syrian refugees, or accepting only Christians, "a betrayal of our values" and "shameful.")

One final note of particular interest to the presidential campaigns. Bloomberg asked whether the U.S. should or should not send American troops to Iraq or Syria to fight the Islamic State. Among Republicans, 64 percent favor sending troops, while 27 percent are opposed and nine percent aren't sure. Among Democrats, 59 percent oppose sending U.S. troops, while 31 percent support sending troops, and 11 percent aren't sure.

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