Could it be possible that President Barack Obama is a greater imminent threat to the United States than his counterparts in Russia and Syria? It is, according to the findings of a joint poll of Americans, conducted by Reuters and Ipsos.
The poll, which was conducted among 2,809 Americans, showed that 34 percent of Republicans ranked Obama as a greater imminent threat, ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin (25 percent) and Syrian President Bashar Assad (23 percent), Reuters reported. While the West has criticized Putin for Russia’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Assad has been accused of using chlorine gas and barrel bombs on his own citizens. Obama, however, has grown increasingly unpopular within the U.S. over several issues, ranging from immigration and health care reform to his foreign policy stance on various conflicts in the Middle East.
Barry Glassner, a sociologist and author, told Reuters that the poll's findings were not very surprising considering how polarized American politics has become. "There tends to be a lot of demonizing of the person who is in the office," he said.
The survey, which polled 1,083 Democrats and 1,059 Republicans between March 16 and March 24, asked respondents to rate a list of countries, organizations and individuals on a scale of 1 to 5, based on threats they posed to the U.S., where a score of 1 meant no threat while 5 denoted an imminent threat.
The survey also found that 27 percent of Republicans considered the Democratic Party as an imminent threat to the U.S., while 22 percent of Democrats believed Republicans to be an imminent threat to the country.
Overall, the respondents were mostly concerned about threats related to potential terror attacks with 58 percent of people polled rating the Islamic State group as a more imminent threat compared to al Qaeda (43 percent). North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un was deemed as a threat by 34 percent, while Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was viewed by 27 percent as an imminent threat to the U.S.
Here are some other key findings of the poll:
- 39 percent of the respondents considered cyber attacks as an imminent threat
- A third of the respondents believed drug trafficking to be an imminent threat
- 33 percent of Democrats rated global warming as an imminent threat
- 27 percent of Republicans said climate change was not a threat at all