Snowden: Americans Still Divided On Him And His Actions

June 26, 2013, 4:38 PM GMT+0

(Week of 6/22/2013) Edward Snowden, the admitted leaker of secret information on U.S. government intelligence gathering and surveillance, remains in the Moscow Airport, and it is unclear where he is headed next. His actions, according to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, continue to divide the country, even though there remains much skepticism about the need for the type of government surveillance Snowden exposed. In this week’s poll, nearly as many Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Snowden as a favorable one, similar to opinions last week. But the change, perhaps due to Snowden's travel to a country many Americans still regard as an enemy, has changed some minds—if not about what he did, about what should happen to him now.

Last week, Americans narrowly opposed prosecuting Snowden for his actions. This week they narrowly favor that. And the big change has come from Republicans. Last week, Republicans were more likely to oppose prosecuting Snowden than favor it (they also have been more opposed than Democrats to government monitoring); this week, perhaps because Snowden chose to travel to Moscow from Hong Kong, they support his prosecution.