Under Trump, American Approval of Putin Grows

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a signing ceremony following talks with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 10. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin is fast becoming a more polarizing figure among Americans than ever before as both his approval and disapproval ratings are soaring.

Despite receiving highly negative press over his government's alleged sponsoring of hacks on the U.S. electoral process last year, a Gallup poll shows 22 percent of U.S. citizens hold a favorable view of Putin. Although far from his career-best U.S. approval rating of 41 percent in the nascency of his first term in 2002, his approval is at a peak for his current third term.

Putin's disapproval rating, however, is 72 percent—equalling his record from 2015.

According to Gallup, different views of Putin are a partisan matter in the U.S., with independents warming to him over the last two years (by 11 points) and Republicans, once the bulwark of criticism against Putin, warming to him event more strongly (by 20 points.) He lost favor with Democrats by five points.

Republican President Donald Trump has reiterated his personal admiration for Putin's leadership skills and vowed to seek improved relations with Russia. He has not indicated exactly how he envisions "getting along" with Russia and at what cost.

Russia itself, however, has reached a record-high unfavorability rating among Americans (70 percent), with only 28 percent of U.S. citizens holding a positive view of the country.