Americans Think Obama Could Battle Alien Invasion Better than Romney: Poll

humanoid aliens
When we meet them, will they remind us of . . . us? Here, human-like aliens from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." (Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Anyone who has seen "Independence Day" knows that strong, capable leadership in the face of a hostile alien takeover is absolutely crucial.

So, faced with the situation, nearly two-thirds of Americans think Barack Obama would handle an alien invasion better than presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a new poll about extraterrestrials from the National Geographic Channel.

The national poll measured different views on extraterrestrials, and found that 36 percent, or more than one-third, of Americans believe UFOs exist. In fact, 11 percent (more than one in 10) are sure they have seen a UFO with their own eyes, while 20 percent (one in five) know someone who claims to have seen a flying saucer.

And if aliens ever stage an invasion of our planet, nearly two-thirds, or 65 percent, of Americans think Obama would be the better person to guide the country's response. And that view held true across both genders, with 68 percent of women and 61 percent of men claiming Obama would be better suited to handle an alien takeover.

Among younger Americans, aged 18 to 64 years, 68 percent felt that Romney would not be as adept in the face of an alien attack. [7 Huge Misconceptions about Aliens]

Still, not everyone viewed a visit from extraterrestrials as a threat.

Most citizens claimed they would not mind a minor alien invasion, because they expect these otherworldly beings to be friendly, such as the creature in Steven Spielberg's classic film "E.T.," the poll's results showed.

The survey also revealed that more than 80 million Americans believe UFOs exist, with many sure that government officials are hiding paranormal activities from the public. According to the National Geographic results, many respondents also claimed to believe that tangible proof exists that aliens have landed on Earth.

And while superhero and vampire movies have reigned supreme at the box office, 71 percent of Americans think aliens are more likely to exist than superheroes, vampires and zombies. But if humankind could call on superheroes for help, the Hulk was the most popular choice (21 percent), rather than Batman (12 percent) or Spiderman (8 percent).

National Geographic's "Aliens Among Us" poll surveyed a random nationwide sample of 1,114 Americans from May 21 to 29. The data was collected by market research company Kelton Research through email invitations and online surveys. According to the survey organizers, quotas were set to ensure reliability and accurate representation of the U.S. population, aged 18 year and older. The margin of error is +/-2.9 percent, NatGeo officials said in a statement.

The poll is part of a campaign to promote National Geographic Channel's new series "Chasing UFOs," which premieres Friday (June 29) at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Check local listings or the National Geographic Channel website for more information.

Follow on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.