Partisan Preferences Drive Americans’ Perceptions on Russia

Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election has dominated the news for months, and how Americans view the country largely rests on which candidate they voted for, a new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey finds.

While only 15 percent of registered voters who cast their ballots for President Donald Trump consider Russia an ally, 43 percent of them think the country is friendly to the U.S. That is more than double the 21 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters who shared the same view. Nearly a third of Clinton voters (29 percent) said they view Russia as an enemy, while another 31 percent said the Eurasian country was unfriendly to the U.S.

Americans are split pretty evenly about the state of the U.S.-Russia relationship: 27 percent said it is not close enough, 23 percent said it was too close and 27 percent said it was just “about right.” (Another 23 percent said they were unsure.)

More than a third of Democrats (36 percent) said the relationship is “too close,” but 24 percent of them said it was not close enough. Among Republicans, 28 percent think the relationship is not close enough, and roughly 4 in 10 Republicans (39 percent) said it is about right.

While voters were split along partisan lines over Russia, there was not much difference between the parties when it came to another Asian power: China.

About 4 in 10 Americans (38 percent) say China is friendly, but not an American ally. About a quarter (24 percent) said the country is unfriendly, and 10 percent said they were an enemy (just a little less than the 13 percent who said they were an ally). Slightly more Democrats than Republicans call China an ally, but otherwise, there is not much deviance from the overall numbers.

A third of voters (34 percent) said the U.S-China relationship is about right, while a quarter (24 percent) said it is not close enough. Only 17 percent of voters think the U.S. and China are too close.

The national, online survey polled 2,013 registered voters Feb. 16-19. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See more here.

Briefings

Washington Brief: Trump Calls Naming of Special Counsel the ‘Greatest Witch Hunt of a Politician’ in U.S. History

Robert Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, was named special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the FBI’s investigation into Russian connections to President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Trump responded on Twitter by saying the naming of a special counsel is “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

Washington Brief: Chaffetz Demands FBI Turn Over All Records of Comey’s Meetings With Trump

A memo written in February by now-former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey says President Donald Trump urged him to abandon an FBI investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) demanded that the FBI turn over all documents related to meetings between Trump and Comey.

Washington Brief: Trump Defends Sharing Intelligence on ISIS With Russian Officials

President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week, jeopardizing a source of intelligence on the Islamic State and drawing criticism from Republicans such as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker. Trump later said on Twitter that he has an “absolute right” to share “facts” with Russia.

Washington Brief: Senate Intel Panel Subpoenas Flynn in Russia Probe

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey had requested more resources for the FBI’s Russian investigation shortly before President Donald Trump fired him. Congressional probes have been relying, in part, on the FBI’s efforts, and the Senate Intelligence Committee stepped up its pace on Wednesday by issuing its first subpoena, to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Load More