Poll: North Korea Is Biggest Threat to U.S.

Economist/YouGov survey finds Americans consider regime to be top enemy

A majority of those polled in the latest Economist/YouGov survey said they want to see President Donald Trump and members of Congress compromise instead of sticking purely to political party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nearly three-fourths of Americans surveyed in the latest Economist/YouGov poll believe North Korea is the country’s biggest enemy as President Donald Trump continues to issue threats to Kim Jung Un’s government on a near-daily basis.

Before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump said the United States was prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea if the regime does not give up its nuclear arms and missile program.

The survey of 1,500 Americans made public Wednesday showed 74 percent thought North Korea was America’s greatest enemy with Iran and Russia following.

Nearly half of those surveyed believed Mexico — a country against which Trump promises to build a border wall to keep undocumented immigrants out of the U.S. — was the friendliest. Forty-six percent of those polled said they opposed the president’s proposal to build a wall.

More than half of those surveyed — 56 percent — thought the direction of the country was “off on the wrong track.”

On trade matters, Korea topped the list of countries that 24 percent of those surveyed believed the U.S. should not enter into free trade agreements with. Columbia followed close behind at 20 percent of those polled.

In general, 36 percent believed free trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries are a “somewhat good” thing with 26 percent responding “not sure.”

More than half of those surveyed believed the U.S. should remain part of the Paris climate agreement.

In June, Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from the 195-nation accord that went into effect in November, but then left open the possibility of renegotiating a “deal that’s fair.”

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburg,” Trump said during the announcement in the Rose Garden, “not Paris.”

During his address before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said the agreement would continue to be implemented, signaling that renegotiations may not be possible. “The door would always be open,” he said if the U.S. opts to rejoin the pact.

Trump’s job performance as president received mostly negative responses.

He was considered the most unfavorable person by those polled, ahead of Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

Pelosi came in second at most unfavorable with 34 percent.

Nearly 70 percent said they preferred to see the president and a member of Congress compromise to get things done as opposed to strictly sticking to principles.

The poll, conducted from Sept. 17 to 19, comes just after Democratic leaders twice this month visited the White House to negotiate terms with the Republican president on matters that include hurricane relief, lifting the debt ceiling, government funding and discussions about whether Congress would pass a deal granting permanent legal status to young undocumented immigrants.

The majority of those polled, 32 percent, considered themselves to be conservatives, but more than half said they did not want to see Trump run for re-election in 2020.

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