New Hampshire Voters Want Missile Defense

January 12, 2004

Manchester – A survey of 600 New Hampshire registered voters released today reveals overwhelming support for a missile defense system to protect the U.S. against ballistic missiles carry weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The survey, conducted by independent polling firm Public Strategies, Inc., found that 75% of NH voters want such a missile defense system deployed, with 63% strongly favoring deployment.

The survey commissioned by the Washington, DC based Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) had a margin of error of +/- 4%. The survey also demonstrated that the missile defense issue is a compelling factor in the NH Democratic Presidential Primary and the MDAA will be releasing those results at an 11:00am press conference scheduled for tomorrow at the Legislative Office Building in NH’s state capitol. 92% of the voters surveyed believe that an attack on Boston, New York or Montreal would have a significant economic impact on jobs and the economy in New Hampshire.

“To secure public safety there must be widespread support for missile defense and that clearly is the case in New Hampshire,” said Riki Ellison, founder and CEO of MDAA. “Citizens of this state know the threat of attack is real, they are confident our military can develop and deploy the system we need, and they understand there is a proven technology for an effective, affordable system for missile defense.”

Other highlights of the survey include:
– 73% believe rogue nations or terrorist organizations have the capability to deliver a weapon of mass destruction by ballistic missile.
– 68% believe missile defense is a critical part of Homeland Security.
– 69% believe the cost of a missile defense system represents money well spent and that the U.S. should proceed with deployment.
– 76% believe the technology exists to build a missile defense system.
– 92% Fear Attack on Boston would has a significant negative impact on the State.
– 79% believe an attack on the Midwest or West Coast would have a significant economic impact on New Hampshire.

Congress has authorized a missile defense system. Construction of the first phase, initiated under the Clinton Administration, is underway. Ellison said the cost is about $9.1 billion per year, or less than 3 % of the U.S. defense budget. He said the system is based on technology that has gone through extensive testing and was successful in all nine instances of Patriot missiles used to counter TBM missiles in the recent war against Iraq.

Among the goals of MDAA are to keep the public informed on the missile defense, the need to have the system deployment, and the need for continued funding by Congress as the threat and technology continue to evolve.

“The gravest danger, the most frightening public safety issue,” said Ellison, “is the catastrophic harm that could result from hostile states or terrorist groups armed with weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them to U.S.”

Ellison is a former college and professional football player. He was a Linebacker on the USC National Championship team in 1978. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he won three Super Bowls. Continuing a commitment to missile defense that began in college, he has more than 20 years experience advocating, educating and advising on the issue. He founded the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance as a non-profit organization to speak for members throughout the nation who support the deployment of a national missile defense system.

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