According to a newly released poll, one third of Republicans believe that President Obama is a more imminent threat to the country than Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll, posted online earlier this month, asked citizens how much of a threat certain countries, individuals and organizations posed to the United States on a scale of one to five, with five being an imminent threat.
Of the 2,809 Americans surveyed, 34 percent of Republicans saw Obama as an imminent threat, with Putin behind him at 25 percent and Assad at 23 percent. Both Putin and Assad have been accused of aggressive and oppressive acts, many of which are considered human rights violations. Assad in particular is believed to have gassed his citizens and used barrel bombs against them.
“There tends to be a lot of demonizing of the person who is in the office,” sociologist Barry Glasser told Reuters, adding that “fear mongering” would be a big part of the 2016 presidential race in both parties. “The TV media here, and American politics, very much trade on fears,” he said.
The Reuters poll highlighted the severity of political polarization in the country, with 27 percent of the 1,059 Republicans surveyed saying they viewed the Democratic Party as an imminent threat to the U.S., and 22 percent of the 1,083 Democrats surveyed voting that Republicans are an imminent threat.
While terror attacks were voted the most imminent threat to the country amongst the poll’s participants, cyber attacks were also a concern. Democrats were more concerned with climate change than Republicans, with 33 percent of Democrats seeing it as a threat and 27 percent of Republicans saying it is no threat at all.
Source: Reuters / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons