According to a new Economist/YouGov poll, Republicans view Vladimir Putin – a man directly involved in a cyber attack against the United States – more favorably than current U.S. President Barack Obama.
The survey showed that 17 percent of Republicans have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of the current president – a not-so-surprising number.
What is surprising is that GOPers, by double digits, have much more positive feelings about Putin. According to the poll, 37 percent have very or somewhat favorable feelings about the Russian president who, again, personally influenced America’s presidential election.
Over the past two years, Putin’s favorability rating among Republicans has grown by a stunning 56 points. Democrats, on the other hand, view him more negatively now than they did in 2014.
The largest jump in Putin’s ratings among Republicans came just after July of this year:
— RNC (@rncmall) December 14, 2016
The spike is no coincidence. In July, Trump literally invited Russia to involve itself in the U.S. presidential election and hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. Not only did they happily oblige, but Republican voters seemed to view Russia’s leader more favorably all the while.
One of Trump’s phony campaign talking points was that he would put “America first,” but it’s clear that his Republican supporters put partisanship first. Putin is an American adversary who personally influenced our electoral process and kills journalists in his own country, but what matters to them is that Trump has nothing but kind things to say about him.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.