In August, 40 percent of Americans thought an Ebola outbreak in the United States was likely, today that number has surged to 62 percent who believe an outbreak is likely, according to the latest Reason-Rupe poll. This includes 23 percent who believe it is "very likely" and 39 percent who say it's "somewhat likely."
Thirty-six percent of Americans say an Ebola outbreak in the US is unlikely, including 25 percent who say "not too likely" and 11 percent who think it's "not at all likely."
Americans with more education are less likely to believe Ebola will spread in the US. For instance, 65 percent of those with high school diplomas or less believe an outbreak is likely compared to 59 percent with college degrees and 46 percent of those with post-graduate degrees.
Perception of Ebola risk does vary by political beliefs as well. Fifty-eight percent of Democrats believe an Ebola outbreak is likely, compared to 69 percent of Republicans. This percentage rises to 73 percent among tea party supporters. Interestingly, tea party supporters are almost twice as likely as regular Republicans to believe such an outbreak is "very likely."
The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1004 adults on cell phones (503) and landlines (501) October 1-6, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results can be found here. including poll toplines (pdf) and crosstabs (xls).