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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Concern Over Govt Cyber Attacks

Monday, June 22, 2015

Obama, Congress ratings remain negative

West Long Branch, NJ  - The Department of Homeland Security recently revealed that U.S. government computers suffered a cyber attack this spring that accessed the personnel records of federal employees.  A national Monmouth University Poll  finds that most Americans feel Washington is not doing enough to protect these systems and are worried that these attacks could have serious consequences.

Nearly 2-in-3 (64%) Americans say that Washington is not doing enough to protect government computer systems from another attack, while just 21% say it is.  Most Americans are aware of this incident - 38% have heard a lot and 44% have heard a little.

About 2-in-3 Americans are at least somewhat worried that an attack on government computers could lead to serious consequences.  Specifically, 32% are very worried and 40% are somewhat worried that a cyber attack on U.S. government computers could significantly damage our national security and defense systems.  Just 27% are not worried.  The poll also finds that 36% of Americans are very worried and 34% are somewhat worried that a cyber attack on U.S. government computers could negatively impact them personally, such as tampering with their social security or tax records.  Just 29% are not worried about this affecting them.

Fully 7-in-10 Americans feel that the federal government can protect its systems from cyber attacks, although only 27% say it is very likely that the government can do this while 43% say it is somewhat likely.  About 1-in-4 say it is either not too (15%) or not at all (11%) likely that Washington can do anything to protect its computer systems from these attacks.

"We have entered a new era in global combat and the American public is unsure what the consequences will be," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

Pres. Obama's job rating with the American public currently stands at 44% approve to 46% disapprove in the Monmouth University Poll .  This is a slight improvement from the 42% approve to 48% disapprove rating he held in April.  Congress continues to earn a negative 19% approve to 71% disapprove job rating.  Currently, just 23% of Americans feel the country is heading in the right direction while 68% say it is on the wrong track, which is similar to the public mood two months ago.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from June 11 to 14, 2015 with 1,002 adults in the United States.   This sample has a margin of error of ±  3.1 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

 

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

 

  1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

Yes

No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White

Black/
Hispanic

Approve 44% 44% 47% 14% 32% 84% 45% 44% 49% 43% 42% 36% 66%
Disapprove 46% 48% 39% 80% 53% 11% 47% 45% 37% 49% 50% 54% 25%
(VOL) No opinion 10% 8% 14% 6% 15% 5% 8% 11% 14% 8% 8% 9% 10%

 

TREND: June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Approve 44% 42% 43% 41% 42%
Disapprove 46% 48% 48% 49% 51%
(VOL) No opinion 10% 10% 8% 10% 6%
Unwtd N

1,002

1,005 1,003 1,008

1,012

 

  1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

Yes

No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White

Black/
Hispanic

Approve 19% 15% 32% 20% 16% 21% 20% 18% 30% 14% 14% 13% 36%
Disapprove 71% 77% 52% 73% 73% 67% 71% 71% 55% 77% 78% 79% 53%
(VOL) No opinion 10% 8% 17% 7% 10% 12% 9% 11% 14% 9% 8% 8% 11%

 

TREND: June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Approve 19% 21% 18% 17% 14%
Disapprove 71% 67% 70% 73% 76%
(VOL) No opinion 10% 12% 11% 11% 10%
Unwtd N

1,002

1,005 1,003 1,008

1,012

 

  1. Would you say things in the country are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

Yes

No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White

Black/
Hispanic

Right direction 23% 22% 29% 8% 16% 44% 23% 24% 28% 25% 18% 20% 33%
Wrong track 68% 71% 59% 91% 72% 45% 68% 68% 63% 67% 75% 74% 55%
(VOL) Depends 5% 5% 7% 1% 7% 6% 6% 5% 7% 5% 5% 4% 7%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 2% 6% 0% 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 4% 2% 2% 4%

 

TREND: June
2015
April
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Right direction 23% 27% 23% 28%
Wrong track 68% 66% 69% 63%
(VOL) Depends 5% 5% 5% 5%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 2% 3% 4%
Unwtd N

1,002

1,005 1,008

1,012

 

  1. As you may know, cyber attacks are used to disrupt computer systems or steal information. How much have you read or heard about the cyber attack on government computers earlier this spring – a lot, a little, or not at all?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

Yes No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White Black/
Hispanic
A lot 38% 41% 27% 39% 36% 38% 44% 31% 32% 34% 48% 37% 37%
A little 44% 44% 45% 44% 45% 44% 40% 48% 39% 51% 42% 48% 38%
Not at all 18% 15% 28% 17% 19% 18% 16% 21% 30% 16% 11% 15% 25%

 

  1. Overall, do you think the U.S. government is doing enough or not doing enough to protect the government’s computer systems from another cyber attack?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

Yes

No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White

Black/
Hispanic

Doing enough 21% 20% 23% 13% 21% 26% 25% 16% 26% 23% 13% 17% 29%
Not doing enough 64% 66% 59% 78% 63% 56% 60% 69% 57% 61% 76% 68% 56%
(VOL) Don’t know 15% 14% 18% 9% 16% 18% 15% 15% 18% 16% 11% 15% 15%

 

  1. Given the nature of these attacks, how likely is it that the government can really do anything to protect its systems against cyber attacks – very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

Yes

No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White

Black/
Hispanic

Very likely 27% 26% 29% 28% 25% 28% 30% 24% 29% 26% 26% 24% 31%
Somewhat likely 43% 42% 43% 38% 44% 45% 43% 43% 46% 45% 37% 44% 38%
Not too likely 15% 15% 14% 17% 15% 13% 12% 18% 12% 12% 20% 15% 17%
Not at all likely 11% 11% 10% 11% 12% 10% 12% 10% 9% 12% 13% 11% 11%
(VOL) Don’t know 5% 5% 4% 7% 3% 5% 4% 6% 4% 6% 4% 6% 3%

 

  1. How worried are you that a cyber attack on U.S. government computers could be able to significantly damage our national security and defense systems – very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not at all worried?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

Yes

No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White

Black/
Hispanic

Very worried 32% 36% 21% 40% 31% 28% 29% 36% 25% 31% 40% 32% 33%
Somewhat worried 40% 40% 42% 40% 39% 43% 39% 42% 37% 44% 40% 41% 37%
Not too worried 17% 16% 19% 13% 18% 18% 18% 16% 25% 15% 11% 19% 12%
Not at all worried 10% 7% 17% 5% 12% 9% 14% 6% 13% 9% 7% 7% 16%
(VOL) Don’t know 1% 1% 2% 2% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 2%

 

  1. How worried are you that a cyber attack on U.S. government computers could have a negative impact on you, such as tampering with your social security or tax records – very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not at all worried?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER AGE

RACE

 

Yes

No Rep Ind Dem Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ White

Black/
Hispanic

Very worried 36% 37% 31% 39% 32% 39% 31% 40% 34% 33% 41% 31% 46%
Somewhat worried 34% 34% 32% 34% 35% 30% 31% 36% 30% 36% 34% 39% 24%
Not too worried 16% 17% 16% 16% 16% 18% 16% 16% 16% 18% 15% 19% 10%
Not at all worried 13% 11% 20% 10% 16% 11% 20% 6% 19% 12% 8% 9% 20%
(VOL) Don’t know 1% 1% 1% 0% 1% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 2% 1% 0%

 

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from June 11 to 14, 2015 with a national random sample of 1,002 adults age 18 and older.  This includes 700 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 302 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample).  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

POLL DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

24% Rep 49% Male 31% 18-34

67% White

44% Ind 51% Female 37% 35-54

12% Black

32% Dem   32% 55+

15% Hispanic

     

       7% Asian/Other

 

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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- Monmouth University Polling Institute