People in the United States view Russian President Vladimir Putin more positively now than they did two years ago, with his image rising sharply among Republicans, according to a new Gallup survey.
The poll found that 22 percent of the public have a favorable view of Putin, up from 13 percent in 2015 and the highest rating he’s received since 2003.
Nearly three-quarters of people, 72 percent, however, view Putin unfavorably, Gallup found.
The latest poll found that 32 percent of Republicans view Putin favorably, 20 percentage points higher than 2015. Twenty-three percent of independents now view Putin favorably compared to 12 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, Democrats’ opinion of Putin has diminished in the last two years with 10 percent now viewing him favorably, down from 15 percent in 2015.
Just over a quarter, 28 percent, view Russia favorably and 70 percent said they view the country unfavorably. Gallup noted that Americans’ views of Russia have fluctuated over the last 20 years. When the polling organization first asked the public about Putin in 2002, 41 percent viewed the Russian leader favorably.
This comes as President Trump aims to improve relations with Russia and after the intelligence community concluded that Putin had ordered a campaign involving covert intelligence operations and overt propaganda to undermine faith in the U.S. election, disparage Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump’s election chances.
The survey polled 1,035 adults between Feb. 1 and 5 with a 4 percentage point margin of error.