Ever since the Russian military occupied Crimea, Mitt Romney has been doing something of a victory lap for his much-ridiculed comment, during the 2012 presidential campaign, that Russia was America's top geopolitical foe. But on Tuesday, during a stop in the Netherlands, President Obama refused to call Romney a prophet. Russia, he said, is a "regional power"—and a weak one at that.
Americans, it seems, fall somewhere in between the Romney and Obama camps. In a survey released on Tuesday, the Pew Research Center found that 43 percent of respondents now consider Russia a "serious problem," up from 36 percent last fall, and 26 percent consider Russia an "adversary," up from 18 percent in the fall.
But the top-level numbers mask another trend: It's mainly Republicans who are growing seriously concerned about Russia. Check out the 18-percentage-point jump among GOP supporters who view Moscow as an adversary. It's also worth noting that older respondents, who lived through the Cold War, are more worried about Russia.
Even so, Republicans remain divided about whether the U.S. should respond aggressively to Russian actions in Ukraine. And among all Americans, there's hardly any appetite for Washington confronting Moscow militarily.