May 24, 2010 - Life Goes On After Attempted Car-Bombing, New York City Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Voters Split On Whether City Is Prepared For Attack

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New York City voters say 86 - 14 percent that they are going about life as usual despite the failed car bombing in Times Square earlier this month, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Men say 90 - 10 percent that they are going on with their lives as usual rather than making changes, while women say 83 - 17 percent that they are living life as usual. This "life as usual" attitude ranges from 76 - 23 percent in The Bronx to 90 - 10 percent in Manhattan.

A total of 69 percent of voters are "very worried" or "somewhat worried" about another terrorist attack in New York City. Voters split 49 - 45 percent on whether the city is prepared for another attack, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

But when asked how their leaders and police are handling terrorism, voters approve:
  • 85 - 11 percent of how New York City police are handling terrorism;
  • 71 - 18 percent of how Mayor Michael Bloomberg is handling terrorism;
  • 65 - 29 percent of how President Barack Obama is handling terrorism.
Voters approve 70 - 17 percent of the job Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is doing. White voters approve 77 - 10 percent while black voters approve 68 - 23 percent.

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. Life goes on.

"What's the explanation? Are New Yorkers naive, saying it won't hit me, or are they just being New Yorkers - no one's going to tell me what to do? Whatever, we won't let concerns about terrorism change how we live our lives," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama and, most of all, the cops - we think they're all doing a good job fighting terrorism."

Government should take all steps necessary to prevent terrorism, even if it means basic civil liberties are violated, 31 percent of New York City voters say.

But 65 percent of voters say anti-terrorism measures should stop short of violating their rights.

Civil liberties take a back seat to safety, Republicans say 61 - 38 percent. Counter- terrorism must stop short of violating rights, Democrats say 69 - 28 percent and independent voters say 65 - 29 percent.

"The city's true-blue liberalism extends to dealing with terrorists. By better than 2-1, New Yorkers think it's more important to protect civil liberties than to take all possible steps against terrorism," Carroll said. "Only Republicans feel the other way."

From May 17 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 797 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ray Kelly is handling his job as Police Commissioner?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Approve              70%    85%    68%    69%    77%    68%    62%
Disapprove           17     11     19     16     10     23     25
DK/NA                13      4     13     15     14      9     13
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Approve              75%    73%    63%    70%    69%    72%    68%
Disapprove           14     15     19     17     27     15     19
DK/NA                11     12     19     13      4     13     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ray Kelly is handling his job as Police Commissioner? (*High also 70% Feb 2010, Mar 2006 & Feb 2006)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS..
                                                     High    Low     High
                     May 24  Feb 18  Jul 28  Jun 17  May 24  Jan 16  Jan 16
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2010*   2007    2007
Approve              70      70      67      63      70      52      52
Disapprove           17      16      20      22      17      34      34
DK/NA                13      14      13      14      13      14      14
 
 
25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling terrorism?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Approve              71%    79%    74%    68%    82%    64%    62%
Disapprove           18     17     18     17     12     26     26
DK/NA                10      4      8     15      6     10     12
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Approve              72%    71%    76%    67%    76%    73%    70%
Disapprove           17     18     17     20     23     17     20
DK/NA                11     11      8     13      1     10     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling terrorism? (*is handling the threat of terrorism?)
                     May 24  Feb 3   Jul 20  Feb 28
                     2010    2006    2005    2003*
Approve              71      70      62      60
Disapprove           18      17      23      27
DK/NA                10      13      15      13
 
 
26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling terrorism?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Approve              65%    24%    82%    55%    52%    83%    73%
Disapprove           29     72     15     39     43     13     21
DK/NA                 5      4      4      6      5      4      6
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Approve              67%    61%    73%    67%    47%    64%    66%
Disapprove           26     34     22     27     51     31     28
DK/NA                 7      4      5      6      2      5      6
 
 
27. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the New York City police are handling terrorism?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Approve              85%    94%    85%    84%    90%    90%    74%
Disapprove           11      5     11     12      6      9     20
DK/NA                 4      1      4      4      4      1      6
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Approve              85%    88%    85%    80%    88%    88%    83%
Disapprove           11      8     11     14     11      8     13
DK/NA                 4      4      4      6      1      4      4
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the New York City police are handling terrorism?
                     May 24  Feb 3
                     2010    2006
Approve              85      75
Disapprove           11      17
DK/NA                 4       8
 
 
28. How worried are you about another terrorist attack in New York City - very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried or not worried at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Very worried         35%    48%    29%    39%    38%    29%    44%
Smwht worried        34     36     37     30     36     28     31
Not too worried      20     10     23     20     17     23     21
Not worried at all   11      7     11     11      8     19      5
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      -      -      -
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Very worried         40%    37%    30%    33%    40%    30%    39%
Smwht worried        28     36     32     35     34     31     36
Not too worried      21     17     24     18     23     23     18
Not worried at all   10     10     12     14      3     15      8
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      -      -      -
 
TREND: How worried are you about another terrorist attack in New York City - very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried or not worried at all? (*asked 3/18/03 & 3/19/03 before bombing of Baghdad) (**asked 3/22/03 & 3/23/03 after bombing had begun)
                     May 24  Feb 3   Apr 10  Mar 25  Mar 25
                     2010    2006    2003    2003**  2003*
Very worried         35      23      29      33      42
Smwht worried        34      40      37      34      33
Not too worried      20      22      21      16      16
Not worried at all   11      14      13      15       8
DK/NA                 -       1       1       1       1
 
 
29. Do you think New York City is adequately prepared to deal with another terrorist attack, or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Yes                  49%    43%    53%    45%    52%    50%    41%
No                   45     51     40     51     40     46     54
DK/NA                 6      7      6      4      8      4      5
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Yes                  47%    52%    52%    47%    38%    56%    44%
No                   49     40     42     48     58     40     49
DK/NA                 4      7      6      5      4      4      7
 
TREND: Do you think New York City is adequately prepared to deal with another terrorist attack, or not? (*asked 3/18/03 & 3/19/03 before bombing of Baghdad) (**asked 3/22/03 & 3/23/03 after bombing had begun)
                     May 24  Feb 3   Jul 20  Apr 10  Mar 25  Mar 25  Feb 28
                     2010    2006    2005    2003    2003**  2003*   2003
Yes                  49      32      41      44      46      37      35
No                   45      59      50      47      46      53      56
DK/NA                 6       9      10       9       7      10       8
 
 
30. As a result of the attempted car bombing in Times Square, have you or members of your family gone about day-to-day life as usual or have you made some changes?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Life as usual        86%    89%    85%    87%    92%    80%    78%
Made some changes    14     10     15     12      7     19     21
DK/NA                 -      1      -      1      -      -      1
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Life as usual        76%    86%    90%    87%    88%    90%    83%
Made some changes    23     14     10     12     10     10     17
DK/NA                 1      -      -      1      2      1      -
 
 
31. Which comes closer to your view - (A) the government should take all steps necessary to prevent additional acts of terrorism in the United States even if it means your basic civil liberties would be violated; or (B) the government should take steps to prevent additional acts of terrorism but not if those would violate your basic civil liberties?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
(A) All steps        31%    61%    28%    29%    37%    32%    21%
(B) Shldn't violate
    civil liberties  65     38     69     65     60     63     73
DK/NA                 4      1      3      5      3      5      6
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
(A) All steps        34%    36%    24%    30%    37%    28%    34%
(B) Shldn't violate
    civil liberties  61     60     73     65     62     69     62
DK/NA                 5      4      2      4      1      3      4
 
TREND: Which comes closer to your view - (A) the government should take all steps necessary to prevent additional acts of terrorism in the United States even if it means your basic civil liberties would be violated; or (B) the government should take steps to prevent additional acts of terrorism but not if those would violate your basic civil liberties?
                     May 24  Apr 13  Feb 3   Aug 19  Jul 20
                     2010    2006    2006    2005    2005
(A) All steps        31       29      28      38      30
(B) Shldn't violate
    civil liberties  65       65      66      55      64
DK/NA                 4        7       6       7       6