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New Report Reveals Democrats, Republicans and Independents Share Equal Concern About Safety - September 15, 2016

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2016 - While finding agreement among American voters on any issue seems near impossible in today's polarized political arena, a new Sterling Talent Solutions report reveals that Democrats, Republicans and independents have found common ground in their concern about safety.

The report, "On the Issues: Background Screening & Politics," finds that 48% of Americans believe public safety is one of the most important issues to be discussed in the presidential debates. Among political parties, 47% of Democrats believe it should be discussed, while 48% of Republicans and 48% of Independents said the same.

Also covered in the report are how Americans feel about hot button safety-issues, including workplace safety, child safety and gun control. The findings come from a survey of 1,077 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over that was commissioned by Sterling and conducted by Kelton Global, a leading global insights firm.

"Safety is a universal concern that transcends political lines," said Clare Hart, Sterling Chief Executive Officer. "Whether liberal or conservative, Americans want to feel that they and their loved ones are safe."

In fact, more than eight of ten (81%) respondents said that feeling safe at all times is a right, not a mere privilege. Many said they would be willing to give up the following things for a year if doing so would ensure their safety:

  • Use of a smartphone (37%)
  • Use of the Internet (32%)
  • Their dream job (29%)
  • All of their vacation hours (28%)
  • Their car (23%)
  • Half of their salary (16%)

Americans are especially concerned with their children's safety. More than one in three parents (37%) admit they worry that their child's teacher might have a criminal record. And 70% believe that it should be mandatory to determine if someone has a criminal background before they teach children in school or take care of children.

Workplace safety is also a major issue on Americans' minds. Nearly half (49%) of all respondents believe that a criminal background should prevent people from getting a job, while 65% said a history of sexual harassment should prevent someone from being able to get a job.

Gun control might be the most controversial safety-related issue. The report—which takes no position on the issue—reveals that 53% of Americans believe gun rights is one of the most important topics to discuss this year in the debates. Only terrorism (73%), healthcare (71%) and immigration (58%) ranked higher. About gun rights, the report reveals the following findings:

  • 72% think it should be mandatory to determine if someone has a criminal record before they buy a gun
  • 70% would feel safer if they knew that everyone who buys a firearm is screened through a background check
  • 64% of Americans would be scared to learn that someone with whom they interacted had not undergone a background check before purchasing a firearm.
  • 15% think someone with a criminal record should have the ability to purchase firearms

"Americans have strong opinions about safety-related issues," Hart said. "They want issues like public safety and gun control discussed in the presidential debates. The Clinton and Trump campaigns should take note because these issues could strongly influence the election."

Download the report here.

About Sterling Talent Solutions

Sterling Talent Solutions (formerly SterlingBackcheck), empowers employers to hire with confidence through our comprehensive suite of background screening and onboarding solutions. Our cloud-based technology provides peace of mind by offering a simpler, smarter experience for you and your candidates -- delivering accurate, reliable results and tools to maintain compliance throughout the hiring cycle.

With 20 offices in nine countries, our team of more than 3,700 employees proudly serves over 50,000 customers around the world, including a quarter of the Fortune 100. Our pioneering-technology centralizes your needs in one platform for faster, transparent results tailored to your company and industry. Sterling is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction earned by fewer than ten percent of all background screening companies. For more information, visit us at

Sterling Talent Solutions is a service mark of Sterling Infosystems.

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Vice President, Communications