Americans: Russia is not our ally

September 18, 2013

For the first time in more than a decade, more Americans see Russia as an adversary than an ally, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll shows 50 percent see Russia as "unfriendly" or an enemy, while 44 percent see it as "friendly" or an ally.


As recently as 2006, nearly three-quarters of Americans -- 73 percent -- saw Russia as an ally or a friend, while 20 percent saw it as an adversary.

The poll comes as Russia plays both an antagonistic role when it comes to potential U.S. military action in Syria and, concurrently, as a broker for a potential deal under which Syria would turn over its chemical weapons to international monitors.

It also comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote a scathing op-ed in the New York Times critical of American foreign policy and deriding the idea of American exceptionalism, and as Russia has provided asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Putin is viewed favorably by 19 percent of Americans and unfavorably by 54 percent. In the early 2000s, more Americans had a positive view of Putin than a negative one.

Of course, Russia was viewed much more unfavorably during the Cold War than today. An October 1955 Gallup poll found 77 percent disapproving of the role Russia was playing in world's affairs. Nine percent approved.

Scott Clement contributed to this report.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · September 18, 2013