- 72% of Americans view Russia unfavorably, highest in 30 years
- Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to view Russia favorably
- Younger Americans view Russia more favorably than older Americans
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As revelations about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election continue to develop, Americans now view Russia more negatively than they have in three decades of Gallup polls. Currently, 25% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Russia and 72% have an unfavorable opinion, the highest negative reading historically, though statistically unchanged from last year's 70%. Americans' unfavorable sentiment toward Russia has been on the rise since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012.
These results are based on Gallup's annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 1-10, which measured Americans' opinions of 22 countries and found Russia among those viewed least favorably.
After World War II, the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was tense for decades as the Cold War wore on. Relations thawed in the mid-1980s, and Americans' opinions were largely positive from the end of the Cold War through the late 1990s. Views of Russia faltered with the resignation of the country's then-president Boris Yeltsin in 1999. Americans' perceptions of Russia rebounded in 2001 amid positive dealings between George W. Bush and President Putin. Opinions were then mixed under Dmitry Medvedev's presidency, but after Putin reclaimed the presidency in 2012, Russia's favorability began to sink.
The lowest favorable rating for Russia -- 24% in 2015 -- came amid Russian interference in Ukraine and parliamentary restrictions on gay and lesbian rights. The current 25% favorable and 72% unfavorable ratings come as the U.S. Justice Department continues its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the relationship between Russia and Trump campaign and administration officials.