Fifty-five percent of Americans see fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor, suggests an national opinion poll released Thursday.
Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut released its findings amid news reports that Snowden had left a Moscow airport after being granted one year's asylum in Russia.
In a statement, the university's respected polling institute said 55 percent of the 1,468 registered voters it contacted by telephone on Sunday through Wednesday considered Snowdown to be a whistle-blower.
Thirty-four percent viewed him as a traitor, while 11 percent either didn't known or gave no response.
The results were unchanged from a July 10 survey that asked the same question.
"Most American voters think positively of Edward Snowden, but that was before he accepted asylum in Russia," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Snowden, 30, is wanted on felony charges by the United States after leaking details of vast US surveillance programmes, but Russia has refused to extradite him.
His awarding of asylum status in Russia came two days after US soldier Bradley Manning was convicted of espionage on Tuesday for leaking US secrets to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
© AFP 2014