little green footballs

New Quinnipiac Poll: Most Americans Think Snowden "More of a Whistleblower," but Still Want Him Prosecuted

Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 10:23:34 am

Today Glenn Greenwald and his cronies are crowing about a new Quinnipiac University poll, showing that a majority of Americans consider Edward Snowden more of a "whistleblower" than a "traitor."

Imagine working month after month to demonize Snowden as a traitor only to wake up & see this new polling data

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 14, 2014

New poll shows huge margin of Americans see Snowden as more of a whistleblower than traitor: 57%-34%

— Trevor Timm (@trevortimm) January 14, 2014

Here's the question:

"Do you regard Edward Snowden -- the national security consultant who released information to the media about the phone scanning program -- as more of a traitor, or more of a whistle-blower?"

34% say they consider him more of a traitor, 57% say whistleblower.

But notice: that either/or question doesn't allow for any opinions in between. For example, I do not consider Snowden to be a whistleblower, but I'm not sure I'd go all the way to "traitor," either.

Be that as it may, it's very interesting to see the poll responses Greenwald didn't mention:

"Do you support or oppose the federal government program in which all phone calls are scanned to see if any calls are going to a phone number linked to terrorism?"

Support: 48%
Oppose: 47%


"Do you think this program is necessary to keep Americans safe or not?"

Necessary: 48%
Not necessary: 46%


"Do you think the Obama administration should drop the pursuit of Edward Snowden and let him come home as a free man or not?"

Should drop pursuit: 39%
Should NOT drop pursuit: 47%

So even though a plurality of Americans think Snowden's "more of a whistleblower," they still think he should face prosecution, and they're almost evenly split on support for the NSA's data collection programs. I wonder why Greenwald isn't trumpeting those numbers?

WaPo/ABC Poll: Most Americans Say Snowden Harmed US Security, Want Him Prosecuted