Pew Poll: Plurality Now Agrees With Mitt Romney on Russian Threat

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 09:40 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney two years ago declared Russia to be the United States' "No. 1 geopolitical foe," and a new survey shows voters now agree.

A Pew Research Center survey released Monday showed that 23 percent of Americans think Russia is the top threat to the United States, while 19 percent point to China and 16 percent say it's Iran.

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Monday's poll was a big change from March, The Washington Post noted, as Russia muscled into Crimea, forcing the Ukrainian military to cede control.

At that time, a Pew poll showed 26 percent of Americans saw Russia as a mere "adversary," while 43 percent said it was a "serious problem" but not an adversary.

Romney got his I-told-you-so moment in late March, telling CBS' "Face the Nation" that President Barack Obama didn't have the foresight to anticipate Russia's intentions toward Crimea.

But observers say Romney wasn't fortune-telling in 2012, he was merely being realistic.

"Mitt Romney, in retrospect, was not omniscient," Bradley Blakeman, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, told Newsmax earlier this month. "He saw what was there to be seen. He saw the world as it was — not the way he wished it would be."

Meanwhile, the survey found that China sees the United States as its biggest threat, and Russia as its ally; Malaysia and Pakistan also pick the United States as the biggest threat, while naming China as their ally.

The survey also indicates that U.S. power in the world is on the decline. It found a median of 49 percent saying China will eventually replace — or already has replaced — the United States as the world's leading superpower.

Across the seven European Union nations polled, a median of 60 percent said China will or already has replaced America as the top superpower.

Still, the United States remains popular around the world, with 65 percent of nations surveyed holding a favorable opinion; its highest ratings come from the Philippines, Israel, South Korea and El Salvador.

Views remain negative in several predominantly Muslim nations, including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey.

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