Most Americans see NSA leaker Snowden as whistle-blower, not traitor

Olivier Knox
Yahoo News
In this image taken form Russia24 TV channel, Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena shows Snowden's a temporary document Russia while speaking to the media after visiting National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has received asylum in Russia for one year and left the transit zone of Moscow’ airport, his lawyer said Thursday. Kucherena said after meeting with the fugitive at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where he was stuck since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23, that he handed him the papers proving his status. Kucherena said that Snowden’s whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons. (AP Photo/Russia24 via APTN) TV OUT
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In this image taken from Russia24 TV channel, Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena shows Snowden's temporary document while speaking to the media after visiting National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has received asylum in Russia for one year and left the transit zone of Moscow’ airport, his lawyer said Thursday. Kucherena said after meeting with the fugitive at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where he was stuck since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23, that he handed him the papers proving his status. Kucherena said that Snowden’s whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons. (AP Photo/Russia24 via APTN) TV OUT

More Americans see National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden as a whistle-blower (55 percent), than a traitor (34 percent), according to a poll released Thursday shortly after the former NSA contractor reportedly secured asylum in Russia.

The Quinnipiac University national poll, which had an error margin for plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, found the public mood unchanged from a similar survey on July 10.

“Most American voters think positively of Edward Snowden, but that was before he accepted asylum in Russia,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

By a 56 percent to 51 percent ratio, more Democrats than Republicans said Snowden was a whistle-blower. Slightly more Republicans than Democrats called him a traitor, 38 percent to 36 percent.

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