Majority in NJ fear Islamic State fighters pose harm to US, poll finds

 Mourners chant slogans against the Islamic State group during the funeral procession of three members of a Shiite group who were killed in Tikrit while fighting Islamic militants, in Najaf, Iraq, Wednesday. Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Sunni tribes have joined Iraq's military in a major operation to retake Tikrit from the Islamic State group. (Jaber al-Helo/AP Photo)

Mourners chant slogans against the Islamic State group during the funeral procession of three members of a Shiite group who were killed in Tikrit while fighting Islamic militants, in Najaf, Iraq, Wednesday. Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Sunni tribes have joined Iraq's military in a major operation to retake Tikrit from the Islamic State group. (Jaber al-Helo/AP Photo)

The majority of New Jersey residents surveyed in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll believe the Islamic State terrorist group is a big problem, but they’re divided on what to do about it.

More than 70 percent of Garden State residents believe the Islamic State group also known as ISIS not only threatens stability in the Middle East but also imperils U.S. residents.

Poll director Krista Jenkins says 40 percent of respondents favor sending U.S. troops to areas controlled by the Islamic State, but 49 percent oppose it.

“These numbers reflect the difficulty that leaders have when making foreign policy decisions based on public opinion,” she said. “There’s no consensus over what to do, and partisanship is also dividing opinion even more. The imagery that flows from ISIS propaganda appears to be toughening more Republicans than the Democratic nerve.”

Millennials, those in the 18-to-34 age group, are the most opposed to deploying American troops.

“They’ve really been steeped in foreign conflict over their formative years,” Jenkins said. “So from their perspective, they may wonder whether the cost of U.S. involvement is worth it in terms of both lives and economic resources for countries that remain unstable even after the United States has left.”

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