The vast majority of U.S. primary election voters want presidential candidates to make reducing cybercrime a top priority, according to a Sept. 30 poll from think tank Third Way.

When asked “How important do you think it is for the next president to make reducing cybercrime a top priority,” half of voters said it was “very important” and roughly 40 percent considered it “somewhat important.” Only two percent of voters said that reducing cybercrime was “not at all important.” The poll’s data is based on Third Way surveying 1,685 likely U.S. primary voters from August 23-26, 2019.

“The majority of Republican and Democrat respondents believed that cybercrime should be a top priority,” the report said. “Across other demographic factors like gender, race, and age, there was general agreement that it should be a top priority.”

The survey did find differences in opinion across age brackets. Among 18-34-year-old respondents, 87 percent considered making cybercrime a top priority “somewhat important,” but only 37 percent considered it “very important.” For respondents aged 65 or older, roughly 60 percent considered it “very important.” Third Way attributed that difference to AARP’s recent finding that individuals age 65 or old are more likely to fall victim to cybercrime.

The report also found that candidates on both sides of the aisle should emphasize their desire to reduce cybercrime, as the majority of Republicans and Democrats agreed it should be a top priority. Third Way said that the nearly universal support for focusing on cybercrime is likely because of the “daily stories of ransomware attacks on U.S. cities, data breaches at financial institutions, and foreign intrusions into US election infrastructure.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.