Putin’s Image Soars in US

PHOTO by Sergey Guneev / RIA Novosti

The number of US citizens with a favourable opinion of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is at its highest point since 2003. At the same time, the general opinion of Russia itself has not changed considerably, Gallup reported, citing its own polling data.

The pollster reported that “22% now say they have a favourable opinion of Putin, up from 13% in 2015 and the highest percentage with a favourable view of the Russian leader” in the last 14 years. At the same time, 72% have a negative attitude towards President Putin’s policies.

28% of Americans have a positive view of Russia, which is 2% fewer than in 2016, while 70% view the country unfavourably. Gallup noted that “a major reason for the overall rise in Putin's favourable rating this year is Republicans' more positive views of the Russian leader, from 12% in 2015 to 32% today.” Meanwhile, the Democrats showed a reverse trend, with only 10% viewing President Putin favourably today, which is 6% fewer than two years ago.

The same is true for Russia: 35% of Republicans view the country favourably in comparison to a 16% approval rating from Democrats.

Gallup believes US President Trump’s amicable attitude towards the Russian president played a role in the rise of his approval rating in the US, adding that further changes will depend on the capacity of Washington and Moscow to reach agreements on key issues. The results of this poll were based on telephone interviews conducted from Feb. 1 to 5, 2017, from a random sample of 1,035 adults living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, Gallup said.

In early February, a YouGov survey discovered that a third of US citizens considered Russia “unfriendly” and 22% called it an “enemy” of the United States.