(Week of 7/13/2013) Two out of three Americans do not want Edward Snowden, the former NSA analyst now stranded in the Moscow Airport transit zone, to accept political asylum in any of the countries that have offered it to him, according to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll.
One in five are willing to let Snowden, who leaked information about U.S. government surveillance activities, gain asylum in Russia, which has said it would offer him asylum if he ceased leaking information – something Snowden has refused to do. Of the three Latin American countries which have offered asylum – Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela – the last seems most popular. While Russia has never been looked on by most Americans as a friend of the U.S., in this week’s poll the three other countries are also seen as unfriendly. Nearly one in five regard Venezuela as an enemy, even more than think that about Russia.
Opinions of Snowden, what he did, and what should happen to him, continue to move in a negative direction:
- Favorable ratings of Snowden have slipped to 37%, while 45% are unfavorable.
- Americans continue to disapprove of the NSA’s data collection activities, but they also disapprove of Snowden's. Slightly more disapprove of Snowden's revelations (45%) than approve of his actions (41%).
- More Americans than in previous polls now want Snowden prosecuted, and the shift has been dramatic since immediately after Snowden's actions became public.
Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to favor prosecuting Snowden. Those under 30 oppose prosecution 31% to 27%.
Photo source: Press Association