Russia likes the U.S. a lot more under Trump, new poll shows

America’s reputation around the world has taken a hit under Trump. But in one country, favorability saw a substantial increase: Russia.
June 27, 2017, 10:48am

America’s reputation around the world has taken a hit under Donald Trump. But there’s one country where favorability saw a substantial increase: Russia.

Out of 37 countries where the Pew Research Center polled thousands of residents from February to May, favorability ratings increased in only six, and mostly in the single digits. In Russia, however, the share of respondents who view the U.S. favorably increased from 15 percent to 41 percent.

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Approval of the U.S. among Russian respondents had dropped drastically in 2014 and continued until the end of Obama’s time in office. Around the same time, the U.S. issued sanctions against Russia after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

In the countries surveyed this time around, respondents who viewed the United States favorably dropped from 64 percent when Obama left office to 49 percent under Trump, although the current numbers mirror the end of George W. Bush’s eight-year tenure. Then, America gained substantial favorability worldwide under Obama, only to plummet following the 2016 election.

The survey found that both Trump’s policies and his character influence the global poll respondents’ unfavorable view of him. Clear majorities consider the president arrogant (75 percent), intolerant (65), and dangerous (62).

Besides the big increase in Russia, Hungary, Jordan, Nigeria, Greece and Vietnam also view the U.S. slightly more favorably since Trump took office. The U.S. also received its lowest ratings from Canada in 15 years.

Israel remained at 81 percent between Obama and Trump’s presidencies. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump established an amicable relationship early on. During their first press conference together, Netanyahu sang Trump’s praises: “There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump.”

While Trump loves to promote “America First” as policy, other countries’ opinions still matter, Frank G. Wisner, a former diplomat who served under Democrats and Republicans, told the Washington Post.

Thankfully, there’s hope for the future.

“The prevailing view among the 37 countries surveyed is that their country’s relationship with the U.S. will be unchanged over the next few years,” according to the Pew Research Center.