Poll: One in Four Americans Rank Terrorism as Top Issue But Americans Split on Muslim Ban

In the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, many Americans are turning their attention to gun control and terrorism.

After 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, a new poll finds that one in four — 24 percent — Americans ranked terrorism as the issue that matters most to them right now.

That number doubled from 12 percent who ranked terrorism as the most important issue to them in last week’s NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll.

The latest poll was conducted online from Monday through Wednesday of 4,322 adults nationwide.

Those who identify as Republicans were the group most likely to list terrorism as the most important issue — 35 percent ranked it first. That is nearly double the number of Democrats who rank terrorism as the most important issue.

The Orlando shooting has also become a topic in the 2016 presidential race. Donald Trump had a strong reaction to the shooting and has brought attention back to his plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Americans are split on how they feel about a temporary ban. Half of Americans support the ban and 46 percent oppose, the poll showed.

The poll also shows that half of Americans — 51 percent — are worried that they or someone in their family might become a victim of a terrorist attack, while 48 percent said they are not worried.

And just under six in 10 said the U.S. government is not doing well in reducing the threat of terrorism, up from 53 percent who said the government was not doing well following the Paris attacks in November.

When it comes to what Americans think should be done to improve domestic security, half said they strongly support extensive surveillance and security checks in public places, such as stadiums, movie theaters and shopping malls to try to prevent terrorist attacks. Another 32 percent somewhat support extensive surveillance and security checks in public places, and only 16 percent oppose.

These numbers are similar to results following the Paris attack in November — 49 percent said they strongly support extensive surveillance and security checks in public places, 32 percent said they somewhat support it and 18 percent said they oppose it.

The mass shooting has also revived efforts to improve stricter gun control laws at the national level. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats engaged in a nearly 15-hour filibuster on gun control after the gunman legally purchased a semi-automatic rifle and handgun prior to the shooting. A majority of Americans — 61 percent — support stricter gun control laws in the United States; 38 percent oppose stricter gun control laws. A similar number of Americans — 60 percent — said they support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons and 38 percent said they oppose a nationwide ban.

An overwhelming majority – 79 percent — of Americans are following news on the nightclub shootings closely. Americans have had a personal reaction to the massacre as well — 45 percent said they have felt depressed in the past few days because of concerns about mass shootings in the United States. That number is up from 38 percent of Americans who said they felt depressed following the Paris attacks in November.

Overall, Americans also have a heightened awareness to the fact that the shooting took place in a LGBT nightclub. Most said there is discrimination against LGBT individuals in our society today — 35 percent said there is a lot of discrimination, 41 percent said some, 15 percent said there is only a little discrimination and only 6 percent said there is no discrimination toward LGBT individuals in our society today.

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted online June 13 through June 15, 2016 among a national sample of 4,322 adults aged 18 and over. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. For full results and methodology, please click here.