President Trump’s proposal for a follow-up summit this fall with Russian President Vladimir Putin is supported by a majority of Americans, according to a poll released Monday afternoon.
The American Barometer poll, a joint project of The Hill and the HarrisX polling company, found that 54 percent of respondents back Trump’s plan for a second summit with the Russian leader, this time in Washington, D.C. Forty-six percent of respondents opposed the idea.
The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States.
The results were released Monday afternoon on Hill TV’s new polling show, “What America’s Thinking,” hosted by Joe Concha. The American Barometer will measure the public’s sentiment on various issues on a daily basis.
The survey was conducted online July 21-22 among a randomly selected sample of 1,001 voters. The results were then weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, income, employment, education, political party and political ideology where necessary to align respondents with the actual proportion of people with those traits in the overall population.
Concha and a panel of polling experts said the poll results show that Americans can separate the nation’s long-term interests from the negative media coverage of Trump’s first summit with Putin in Helsinki last week.
For instance, the poll found 60 percent of Americans disapproved of Trump’s handling of Russia in the aftermath of the summit, but they approve of holding another summit, with 87 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents supporting another meeting with Putin.
“The American voter has a very healthy and nuanced perspective on the issue,” HarrisX CEO Dritan Nesho said on “What America’s Thinking.”
“They support the president on his position on the issues, as we saw, and actually have a pretty pragmatic view about how we should handle Russia,” Nesho added. “They believe in engagement with Russia, they believe in dialogue with Russia, and they’re not worried about an invitation to President Putin this fall.”
“At the same time voters thought the President’s performance in Helsinki left something to be desired, as indicated by his 40 percent approval on how he’s handling Russia,” he said.
— Julia Manchester