Republicans increasingly see Russia as an ally – poll

Republicans increasingly see Russia as an ally – poll
Following the lead of President-elect Donald Trump, Republicans say their views of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, are improving, according to a new poll. The percentage of Republicans who call Russia an enemy has dropped 11 points since August.

The percentage of Trump supporters who view Russia as unfriendly or as an enemy of the US has gone down to 56 percent from 67 percent in August, according to a new YouGov/Economist poll. Meanwhile, 28 percent of Trump supporters believe Russia is an ally to the US.

A 2014 YouGov/Economist poll found that Russia had a net "friendly" rating among Republicans of -75, while the new poll found that net rating to be -21, as pointed out by Will Jordan.

Overall, just 21 percent of Americans who responded to the poll said they view Russia as friendly or as an ally to the United States. Fifty-eight percent see Russia as unfriendly or as an enemy.

Fifty-four percent of overall respondents said they believe Trump considers Russia an ally.

Republicans' view of Putin has become more positive since the summer, with more than one-third of Trump supporters saying they view Putin favorably, with 51 percent reporting unfavorable opinions. 

Only 21 percent of all respondents said they viewed Putin favorably. Eighty percent of supporters for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said they viewed Putin unfavorably.

Nearly half of all respondents said they are skeptical of Trump's approach with Russia.

Elsewhere, views of Wikileaks, which during the presidential campaign published hacked emails from Clinton's campaign manager, varied among Republicans and Democrats. Wikileaks' net favorability with Republicans has gone up nine points since August, while its net favorability has fallen by 3 points among Democrats.

The poll also found that 30 percent of all respondents have "quite a lot" or a "great deal" of confidence in the Central Intelligence Agency, which has blamed Russia for attempting to affect the presidential election through hacking efforts. The CIA has a great deal or quite a lot of support from 39 percent of Democrats compared to 28 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of independent voters. Two-thirds of Clinton supporters and only 12 percent of Trump voters believe Russia had a hand in hacking the Democratic National Committee.