Nov 9, 2017

Trump has flipped America's partisan views on Russia

The partisan gap in Americans' concerns about U.S.-Russian relations has widened — and flipped — since President Trump was elected last year, per a Pew report.

Reproduced from a Nov. 9, 2017 Pew Research Center study.

Behind the numbers: Pew has shifted wording on its questions about Russia over the years, depending on relevant foreign policy issues. In 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2015, respondents were asked their views on "growing authoritarianism in Russia." In 2009 and 2013, they were asked about "growing tensions between Russia and its neighbors." Respondents were asked about "tensions with Russia" in 2016 and "Russia's power and influence" in 2017.

Key takeaways:

  • Democrats and Republicans generally agreed on whether Russia posed a threat to the U.S. until the Trump era.
  • In the full pool of respondents, 52% said Russia is a major threat and 38% called it a minor threat.
  • Per the report, 46% of Americans think China poses a major threat; 59% say so about climate change; 68% feel threatened by ISIS.
  • The share of Americans who see ISIS as a threat has dropped from 83% in 2015 to 68% this year.
  • A significantly larger portion of respondents feel threatened by North Korea's nuclear program (75%) compared to Iran's program (53%).

Go deeper

Pew: Across 33 countries, 64% of people have no confidence in Trump

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L), President Donald Trump (C) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman at the G20 summit. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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Why it matters: The world is watching as tensions between the U.S. and Iran flare in the wake of the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani — threatening an all-out war that could further destabilize the Middle East. Amid other global threats, North Korea has also abandoned a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons testing after negotiations with the U.S. broke down.

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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

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Why it matters: 52% of Americans said the Trump administration's decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike makes them feel "less safe," despite assurances from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials that the U.S. is safer with Soleimani gone.

Go deeperArrowJan 12, 2020

Exclusive: John Bolton hits Trump for bluffing on North Korea nukes

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Ed Jones/AFP, Saul Loeb/AFP, Brendan Smialowski/AFP, and Sergei Gapon/AFP all via Getty Images

In his sharpest criticism yet of his old workplace, John Bolton suggested the Trump administration is bluffing about stopping North Korea's nuclear ambitions — and soon might need to admit publicly that its policy failed badly.

Driving the news: Bolton told me in an interview that he does not think the administration "really means it" when President Trump and top officials vow to stop North Korea from having deliverable nuclear weapons — "or it would be pursuing a different course."

Go deeperArrowDec 22, 2019