Do allies and enemies alike “spy” on U.S. leaders? Voters themselves appear to agree that clandestine activities are a reality of life these days for those at the highest echelons of power, according to a wide ranging new survey. And it’s complicated: some say the anger of those leaders whose cell phones were monitored by the National Security Agency was simply “posturing for the media.”
A few of the many numbers:
50 percent of registered U.S. voters say the United Kingdom “probably or definitely” spies on American leadership.
59 percent say the same of Germany and 58 percent for France; 79 percent say the same about Iran; 80 percent say the same for China as well as Russia.
30 percent of the respondents felt that world leaders were “truly angry” over revelations that the National Security Agency had targeted their private cellphone conversations; 28 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats agree with this.
20 percent said they were vexed that leaders were “posturing for the media”; 28 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats agree.
36 percent said the leaders were doing both of these things; 33 percent of GOPers and 37 percent of the Dems agree.
But manners still matter. Overall, 53 percent say President Obama should apologize for the phone incidents; 52 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats agree.
The Economist/YouGov survey of 662 registered voters was conducted from Oct. 26 to 28.