Negative views of Russia at Cold War levels

February 13, 2014

A new poll shows Americans' views of Russia, which is currently hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, are as poor as they have were around the time of the Cold War.

The Gallup poll shows 60 percent of Americans view Russia unfavorably -- the highest that number has risen since at least 1994, the oldest polling data available from Gallup. The Cold War is generally acknowledged to have ended in 1991.

Thirty-four percent of Americans view Russia favorably.

Polls at the tail end of the Cold War and in the 1970s showed views of the Soviet Union were actually more favorable then than they are of Russia today, according to the Roper Center.

(Note: The polling cited by the Roper Center asked a slightly different question, asking respondents to rate Russia from +5 to -5. Anything from +1 to +5 was considered favorable. As always, comparing two different pollsters doesn't render totally comparable results.)

The new Gallup poll also shows Americans' views of Russian President Vladimir Putin continue to decline, with 63 percent viewing him unfavorably -- nine points higher than last year.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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