Poll Reveals Fears in Aftermath of September 11

6/14/2007

Massachusetts residents expect another coordinated air strike by terrorists, another tunnel collapse, and a school shooting in their hometown, according to a 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll.
 
Of those polled, 59 percent believe there will be another coordinated air strike against the United States as there was on Sept. 11, 2001, while just 29 percent do not expect such an attack.

Yet, when respondents were asked if they have avoided flying in an airplane because of the fear of a repeat attack, 82 percent said “no,” while 16 percent said “yes.”  Eighty percent of those polled said they believe it is safe to fly, while 14 percent said it is not.

Tunnel concerns

The same thinking applies to tunnel tragedies similar to the July 2006 event when four concrete ceiling panels fell on a motorist traveling through the tunnel on her way to Logan Airport. 

Eighty percent of respondents said they believe such an event could happen again in one of the tunnels, while just 15 percent do not.  Yet, when asked if the tunnels in Massachusetts are safe, 44 percent indicated “yes,” and 37 percent “no,” with 20 percent undecided. 

While half of those polled did not look up at the ceiling or think about a ceiling panel falling when they last drove through a tunnel, 45 percent did do so.

School shootings

In other 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll findings, further signs of an “it could happen, but not to me” mentality were seen in the confines of the school classroom.  When asked about a Virginia Tech-Columbine-type shooting, 79 percent said it could happen in one of the schools in their towns, while just 17 percent said it could not. Yet 69 percent said that the schools in their towns are safe.

The terrorist, tunnel, and school shooting questions were part of a major health care study taken in early June as part of a Health and Fitness Expo display to be held at the Hynes Convention Center June 23 and June 24. 

The 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll was conducted from June 4 to June 7, 2007.  The margin of error is +/- 4.90 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.  The 400 respondents statewide were all residents of Massachusetts.

Suffolk University is scheduled to release marginals and 270 pages of cross-tabulation data on Sunday, June 17, 2007. 

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