The new Pew Research Center survey also found that Russia is by far the number one national threat in the eyes of Democrats, as 39 percent see Russia as the greatest threat to America, while 21 percent cited North Korea, and 13 percent said it was China.
Opinions were divided among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with 27 percent saying North Korea presently poses the greatest danger to the US; 21 percent cited Russia, and 18 percent – Iran.
Compared with 2013, the last time the same question was asked, larger numbers in both parties cited Russia as posing the greatest danger to the US. Almost twice as many Democrats as Republicans now express a more hostile attitude (39 percent vs. 21 percent).
It is the first time that a significantly larger percentage of Democrats than Republicans has named one single country as representing the greatest threat to the US, the researchers noted. “Historically, the pattern has been reversed, with greater proportions of Republicans than Democrats naming one particular country as our greatest threat.”
The percentage of Americans viewing Russia as the greatest danger to the US has gone up and down over the past three decades. In March 1990, as many as 32 percent said Russia was the greatest danger, Pew Research Center reports. In 1992, that figure fell to 13 percent.
The survey of 1,500 adults was conducted from April 5 to 11, before the recent rise in tensions with North Korea over its nuclear program and missile tests.
A January Pew Research Center survey found that most Americans believe Russia was behind the alleged hacks of the Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential campaign. Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to say that Russia was behind the hacks of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents proved to be nearly united in thinking that Russia was behind the hacks – 93 percent said they think it was Russia, including 57 percent who said it definitely was, the poll showed.
That survey also found that 38 percent of Democrats perceived Russia as an “adversary,” compared with 20 percent of Republicans.