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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Polarization and Global Threats

Pew reports on a new national survey on foreign policy.
Nearly eight-in-ten (77%) Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say global climate change is a major threat to the well-being of the United States, compared with only 25% of Republicans and Republican leaners.
By contrast, Republicans are about twice as likely as Democrats to say the large number of refugees leaving Iraq and Syria is a major threat to the U.S. (63% vs. 30%).
The largest change in partisan views of global threats is seen in assessments of Russia. Currently, Democrats are 26 percentage points more likely than Republicans to say Russia’s power and influence is a major threat to the well-being of the United States (67% vs. 41%).
As recently as last April, before the allegations that Russia hacked Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Republicans were somewhat more likely than Democrats to view tensions with Russia as a major threat (46% of Republicans vs. 37% of Democrats). (For more on views of Russia and the alleged hacking, including ratings of Vladimir Putin, see: “U.S. public sees Russian role in campaign hacking, but is divided over new sanctions,” released Jan. 10, 2017)
The survey finds only modest partisan differences in views of the threat from the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But the gap in Mideast sympathies – for either Israel or the Palestinians – now stands at its widest point in surveys dating to 1978.
Nearly three-quarters of Republicans (74%) say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians; just 11% sympathize more with the Palestinians, while 15% say they sympathize with neither side, both sides or do not offer a view.
 Democrats are divided – 33% sympathize more with Israel, 31% more with the Palestinians, while 35% sympathize with neither, both or don’t express an opinion. While Republicans’ views of the Mideast conflict have changed little over the last few years, the share of Democrats sympathizing more with Israel has fallen 10 points since April 2016, when 43% said they sympathized more with Israel.