Americans see ISIS as a bigger threat to the United States than Iran, Russia, North Korea or China, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.
Overall, 68% say ISIS is a very serious threat, compared with just 39% who say so about Iran, 32% about North Korea, 25% on Russia and 18% on China. Nearly 9 in 10 see ISIS as at least a moderately serious threat.
The partisan divides that often drive public opinion around foreign policy issues are less prominent when Americans rate the threat from ISIS. Majorities across political and ideological lines say ISIS is a deeply serious threat to the U.S., including 68% of Democrats, 79% of Republicans and 63% of independents.
With active fighting against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and the arrests Sunday of six Minneapolis men accused of trying to join ISIS, concerns about the threat posed by the group grow alongside worries that the military battle could spread. While a CNN/ORC Poll in March found the public remained mostly confident that the U.S. effort to combat ISIS would succeed, it also showed 79% of Americans were worried that the conflict would develop into a larger war that would spread throughout the region and to other parts of the world.
The party unity in perceptions of ISIS as a threat do not extend to Iran, however, with the new CNN/ORC poll showing a broad partisan rift in perceptions of Iran’s threat to the U.S. According to the poll, Republicans are far more apt to see Iran as a very serious threat than Democrats or independents (53% of Republicans call it a very serious threat compared with 38% of independents and 29% of Democrats).
That partisan divide carries through to perceptions of an agreement in the works between the U.S. and Iran that would lift some economic sanctions in exchange for greater access to and limitations on Iran’s nuclear program. If Iran were to violate the terms of such an agreement, however, majorities in both parties say military action should be the next step.
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SOURCE: Jennifer Agiesta