A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the president’s statement last Sunday that "… having Russia in a friendly posture, as opposed to always fighting with them, is an asset to the world, and an asset to our country, not a liability.” Just 27% disagree, but another 21% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree with the statement. Among Democrats, 29% agree; 41% disagree, and 29% are undecided.
It’s important to note that Rasmussen Reports did not identify the president in the question as the source of the quotation. Trump made the comment after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to stress his point that it is important for the major powers to work together "to solve Syria, to solve North Korea, to solve Ukraine, to solve terrorism."
This survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 13-14, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Earlier this year, 54% of voters said it's likely the United States and Russia will return to a 1950s-like Cold War relationship over the next few years, but that included only 17% who said it’s Very Likely. Just 16% felt that America’s worsening relationship with Russia was good for this country.
Men feel much more strongly than women that it’s better "having Russia in a friendly posture.” Those under 40 are only slightly less likely than their elders to agree.
In a sharp turnaround from the Cold War years, 79% of conservatives agree that it’s better to be friends with Russia, but just 27% of liberals share that view.
Eighty-six percent (86%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job the president is doing agree with his statement about Russia. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance, only 23% agree, while 48% disagree.
Russia has consistently been a much bigger issue for Democrats than for other voters. Searching for a reason for Hillary Clinton’s defeat, most Democrats blamed Russia following the election.
Following his meeting with Putin in July, Trump said he looked forward to "very positive things happening” for the two nations. But at that time just 22% of all voters believed that America’s relationship with Russia would be better in a year’s time.
A year ago, only 17% felt the United States should regard Russia as an ally when it comes to the war against ISIS in the Middle East.
Eighteen percent (18%) say Russia is a bigger threat to U.S. national security than radical Islamic terrorism. Forty-seven percent (47%) think radical Islamic terrorism is the bigger threat, while 31% say they are both about the same.
Voters are still concerned about the Trump administration's alleged Russia connection, but worries about national security have now jumped to the top of the list of voter concerns as well.