Despite breathless reports insisting that President Donald Trump betrayed America by meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, a vast majority of Republicans approve of his dealings with Moscow, according to a new poll.
The Reuters/Ipsos survey, which was conducted after the headline-grabbing summit, found that 71 percent of the president’s Republican base thinks that Trump is doing a good job with his handling of Russia – compared to only 14 percent of Democrats.
“Trump still enjoys broad support among Republican voters despite criticism from party leaders” about the outcome of his meeting with Putin, according to Reuters.
An Ipsos/Reuters post-Helsinki poll found that 71 percent of Republicans approved of Trump’s handling of Russian relations. So I think it’s a bit much to say Trump is fighting the “entire Republican party to defend Putin.” GOP officeholders in DC aren’t the entire party. https://t.co/KXY89i4J4V
— Damon Linker (@DamonLinker) July 18, 2018
The poll’s results should not come as a surprise: candidate Trump ran on a platform that included re-engagement with Russia in an attempt to reverse years of souring relations, and it’s likely that his base views the recently-concluded summit as a positive step towards fulfilling his campaign promise.
Additionally, Trump’s performance at the Helsinki summit – characterized by pundits and media outlets as America’s “darkest hour” and a modern-day “Pearl Harbor” – appears to have had no discernible effect on the president’s approval rating, which Reuters/Ipsos put at 42 percent.
Trump’s daily average approval rating has fluctuated between 40 and 44 percent so far in July.
The poll, which included 453 Republicans and 399 Democrats and has a credibility interval (a measure of precision) of four percentage points, seems to contradict some of the more sensational reports emerging from the American press in the days after the Helsinki summit.
For example, a creative piece of analysis written by New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait claimed that Trump is “fighting the entire Republican Party to defend Putin.”
Chait, as you might recall, is the trailblazing journalist who suggested that Donald Trump may have been groomed as a KGB asset – starting in 1987.
Of course, it’s just a matter of time before someone suggests that 71 percent of Republicans are part of Soviet sleep cell sent to the United States to elect a president who dismantled the Iran nuclear deal, bombed Syria and shipped weapons to Ukraine.
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