Washington (February 20, 2020)—Ahead of the upcoming South Carolina Democratic Party presidential primary, a Zogby Analytics poll found that a high percentage of the state’s residents want the candidates to address U.S. nuclear weapons policy. Given the heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea and Russia in recent years, the survey’s sponsor, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), is calling on the candidates to take this issue seriously.

According to the Zogby poll, 83 percent of South Carolina residents think it is very or somewhat important for candidates in the upcoming 2020 election to explain their views regarding nuclear weapons. More than half of the respondents say that the United States should not use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.

This poll is the just the latest to indicate that residents want candidates to share their thoughts and plans on nuclear weapons. Recent surveys conducted in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire and Ohio found that more than 80 percent of the residents in each state want presidential candidates to publicly state their views on nuclear weapons, and a majority in each state support a “no-first-use” US nuclear policy.

“A presidential debate is a job interview for the next commander in chief,” says physicist David Wright, co-director of the UCS Global Security Program. “Voters need to know what a candidate would do about nuclear weapons policy if he or she winds up in the White House.”

Zogby conducted the South Carolina poll between January 31 and February 1, interviewing 605 adults out of thousands of randomly selected phone numbers. The sampling margin of error is +/- 4 percent.