Russia’s already negative image among Americans only worsened over the past year, with a majority for the first time saying that Russia’s military power poses a threat to U.S. vital interests and a third identifying Russia as the United States’ chief enemy. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans viewing Russia unfavorably edged up a point to 73%. Each of these negative perceptions of Russia marks a record high in Gallup’s trends.
The Feb. 1-10 poll coincided the Trump Administration’s Feb. 1 announcement that the U.S. is pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over concerns Russia hasn’t complied with the arms control agreement. In the survey, 52% of Americans rated the military power of Russia as a “critical threat” to U.S. vital interests. This is up from 39% in the prior measure in 2016 and from 18% in the initial 2004 reading.