There has been a sharp uptick in the number of Jordanians who are pessimistic about the country’s trajectory, and increased support for closing the borders to Syrian refugees, according to a nationwide poll released today by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research:
A combined 58 percent of respondents think that Jordan is headed in “somewhat” or “mostly” the wrong direction (34 percent “somewhat,” 24 percent “mostly”), and a combined 71 percent describe the current economic situation as “bad” (46 percent) or “very bad” (25 percent). In addition, half expect the economic situation to get “somewhat worse” (36 percent) or “much worse” (14 percent).
“Consistent with our previous surveys, Jordanians are dissatisfied with the economy, which appears to be linked to the increase in the number of people who feel the country is headed in the wrong direction,” said IRI Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Scott Mastic. “It is clear that the government must take meaningful steps to address the concerns driving these negative poll numbers, such as combating unemployment.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah is holding talks in Washington on how to bolster the kingdom’s domestic security amid the growing risk of Islamic State militant attacks, officials and diplomats said.
“The king will seek a stepped-up campaign against the extremists and secure extra resources to help ensure the militants would not be allowed to move towards our borders,” one official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
IRI is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy.