Poll: Iran Greatest Threat
A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll reveals that Americans believe Iran is the most dangerous threat to American security, knocking North Korea out of the top spot.
Americans think Iran is the country that poses the greatest immediate danger to the United States today, taking over the number one spot from North Korea. A FOX News poll released Thursday shows the public is concerned about Iran attacking the United States with nuclear weapons, and even more concerned about Iran supplying nukes to terrorists.
If Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons, an overwhelming 91 percent of Americans say they are concerned it would sell them to terrorists, including 68 percent that say they are very concerned. In addition, eight in 10 Americans are concerned Iran would use nukes to attack a neighboring country (54 percent very concerned), and 73 percent are concerned it would attack the United States (47 percent very concerned).
Iran tops the list when respondents are asked to say which country Ã¢€” without being read a list Ã¢€” poses the greatest immediate danger to the United States. Today a 28 percent plurality says Iran, up from 18 percent a year ago. North Korea, which was first on last yearÃ¢€™s list, comes in second this time around at 17 percent, down from 26 percent (January 2005). Iraq (16 percent) and China (14 percent) are other common mentions.
While I happen to think these results reasonably accurate, foreign policy is a topic for which public opinion polling is spectacularly unhelpful. Frankly, few Americans have the slightest bit of expertise in this field. Most could not point out North Korea and Iran on a map, much less analyze the comparative threats of their nuclear programs.
This poll, then, is mostly a proxy for the framing ability of the media. Iran has been in the news a lot recently. North Korea has not. Ergo, Iran must be more dangerous.