Most Americans want Biden to take a tough stand on Putin

Most Americans want President Biden to take a tough stance against Russian leader Vladimir Putin, rather than a cooperative approach, at their next summit, as the majority believe Russia is using cyber attacks against the United States and is attempting to influence our country’s politics and elections. Russia-related cyberattacks are specifically the issue Americans most want Mr. Biden to address with Putin.

A majority of Democrats want the president to take a tough stance against Putin, as most Republicans do.

Most Republicans and Democrats believe Russia is taking provocative action, such as engaging in cyber attacks, trying to influence US elections and politics, and trying to undermine the NATO alliance in Europe. Those who think Russia is taking these kinds of actions are particularly likely to describe Russia as hostile or an enemy of the United States. Most also don’t think Russia is trying to cooperate with the United States on world affairs.

When asked to choose the most important issue Mr Biden needs to address with Putin, Russia-related cyberattacks take the lead, ahead of other issues, such as the military and political pressure that Russia exerts on its countries. neighbors, Russian interference in the US elections, its nuclear weapons program and its human rights record.

As the summit approaches, the views of the American public on Putin are decidedly negative. These views extend to all demographic, ideological and political groups. Liberals are particularly likely to voice an unfavorable opinion, with three-quarters doing so, even more so than moderates and conservatives.

Most Americans view Russia as hostile or enemy of the United States, including the majority of Republicans and Democrats. The majority of all partisan groups think Russia is trying to influence the US election, and Democrats are particularly likely to think so. (In 2018, during the Trump presidency, Republicans tended to like the way President Trump handled Russia, and there were also relatively more Republicans who perceived Russia as friendly with the United States than they did. there are today.)

In assessing Mr. Biden’s approach to Russia so far, partisanship is shaping public opinion, as it has for many recent presidents. Today Democrats believe the president is taking the right approach, while Republicans (who largely disapproved of Mr. Biden’s presidency in general) also criticize the way he is handling Russia. Only one in five Republican thinks his approach is right.

Learn more about the views of Russia

Beyond views on presidential management, views on Russia’s relations with the United States are less tied to partisanship. Age is more of a factor: Older Americans, those 65 and over, regardless of political party, are more likely to view Russia as hostile or an enemy, compared to those who are younger . Perhaps having lived through more of the Cold War shaped their perspective.

Looking more closely at about a third of Americans who view Russia as an ally or a friend, most cite as reasons that “the United States should just try to get along with them,” and they say that they think “Russia is a strong country.” Republicans and Trump voters who view Russia as a friend or ally also cite “President Trump wanted to get along with Russia” as one of their reasons .

This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,073 US adult residents surveyed between June 11 and 14, 2021. This sample was weighted by gender, age, race and education based on the US Census American Community Survey, and the US Census Current Population Survey, as well as the 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ± 2.6 points.

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