Seventy-nine percent (79%) of U.S. voters now say the military should be used along the border with Mexico to protect American citizens if drug-related violence continues to grow in that area.
This marks a 21-point jump in support for the use of the U.S. military along the border in just two months.
Only 10% now say the military should not be used in that fashion, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.
President Obama has expressed concern about the rise of drug violence in Mexico and is reportedly considering sending the National Guard to the border if the high level of violence moves into this country.
Eighty-two percent (82%) of voters are concerned that Mexican drug violence will spill over into the United States, including 50% who are very concerned. Just three percent (3%) are not at all concerned. There has been a sizable jump in this concern also over the past two months.
The majority of voters (52%) remain more concerned about drug violence than illegal immigration. Forty-one percent (41%) are more concerned about the illegals situation. These numbers are largely unchanged from the survey at the beginning of the year.
Also unchanged is the level of voter support for continued building of a fence along the Mexican border. Sixty-one percent (61%) say the United States should continue the fence, but 27% disagree.
Yet the majority of GOP voters (53%) remain more concerned about illegal immigration than growing drug violence. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats, on the other hand, are more concerned about drug-related violence. Unaffiliated voters give the edge to drug violence by a 50% to 44% margin.
Republicans also are more enthusiastic supporters of the border fence. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans say the United States should keep building the fence, as do 53% of Democrats and 60% of unaffiliateds.
Even without the higher level of concern about drug-related violence, 74% of voters said in early December that the federal government is not doing enough to secure the country’s borders.
Homeland Security has announced that it is using money from the new economic stimulus plan to continue work on the border fence.