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GOP Voters Not on Board With Putin's stooges in GOP

Despite Donald Trump's love affair with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Republican voters have managed to catch on to the fact that Russia is not a trustworthy American ally.

Newly released Civiqs polling shows that among voters overall, 74 percent view Russia as more of a foe than a potential ally—including 67 percent of Republican voters (chart below).

In fact, Civiqs tracking dating back to the beginning of Trump's tenure in January 2017 shows that, within months of the 2016 election, Republican voters started to get the sense that Russia didn't exactly have America's best interests at heart. So while GOP voters started out feeling pretty relaxed about Russia in late December 2016, with only 30 percent calling the country a foe and 40 percent saying it was a potential ally, the script had entirely flipped by early April 2017, with just 30 percent calling Russia an ally versus 40 percent naming it a foe.

Things began to shift in early January 2017 following an increasing focus on Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 outcome that took most Americans by surprise, to put it lightly. On January 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified version of its report on Russian interference in 2016, combining intelligence from the FBI, CIA, and NSA. The report concluded with "high confidence" that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” including the hacking of personal email accounts of Democratic Party officials, among others.

That declassified report appears to have turned things around even for Republican voters. Here's the trend among Republican voters viewing Russia as foe/ally over the past half dozen years:

  • Jan 2017: 29% foe/40% ally
  • Jan 2018: 41% foe/32% ally
  • Jan 2019: 48% foe/25% ally
  • Jan 2020: 47% foe/25% ally
  • Jan 2021: 60% foe/18% ally
  • Jan 2022: 66% foe/14% ally

A series of events over the past handful of years seem to have contributed to Republicans' increasing view that Putin's Russia was working at cross purposes with American interests. Views of Russia as foe got a boost after events such as the 2018 Helsinki summit, in which Trump proved to be a Putin puppet on the world stage.

But the bottom line is, the pro-Putin wing of the Republican Party is wildly out of step with Americans and even two-thirds of their own party.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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