Republicans think Obama is a greater threat to the US than Putin or Assad

A third of Republicans believe the President poses an imminent threat, a Reuters survey has found

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The Independent US

Republican voters believe President Barack Obama represents a greater threat to America than either Russian leader Vladimir Putin or Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, according to a new survey.

Reuters/Ipsos this month asked 2,809 Americans to rate out of five how great a threat certain countries, groups and people pose to the United States — with one meaning 'no threat' and five meaning 'imminent threat'.

More than a third of Republican respondents (34 per cent) rated Obama as an 'imminent threat', more than Putin or Assad, who registered 24 and 23 per cent respectively.

Both the Russian and Syrian Presidents have recently been criticised by the international community, and by the US government in particular, the former for backing pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, the latter for allegedly using chemical weapons on his own citizens in 2013.

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The results of the poll reflects ever-worsening political polarisation in the US, but sociologist Barry Glassner isn't surpised.

Glassner, who wrote 'The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are afraid of the wrong things', said: "There tends to be a lot of demonising of the person who is in office."

He thinks the "fear mongering" by both the Republican and Democratic parties will feature prominently in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"The TV Media here, and American politics, very much trade on fears."


The country's partisanship goes beyond the right's longstanding hatred of Obama, with Reuters reporting that 27 per cent of Republican respondents also see the Democratic Party as an imminent threat to the US, whilst 22 per cent of Democrats say the same about the Republican Party.

And it extends to the issues as well, with Democrats markedly more concerned about climate change, with 33 per cent labelling it an imminent threat. More than a quarter of Republicans, on the other hand, said climate change was not a threat at all.

Other results from the survey revealed that Americans believe Isis poses the greatest terror threat (58 per cent), followed by al Qaeda (43 per cent).

Cyber attacks were given the 5 out of 5 threat rating by 39 per cent of those polled, whilst the threat of drug trafficking was seen as 'imminent' by a third.

Additional reporting by Reuters