Of the many post-election polls that show a change and division in the American voter, one of strangest findings was in a Economist-YouGov poll taken in mid-December that shows a surge of Republican approval of Vladimir Putin and WikiLeaks.
In the survey of 1,465 voters, Putin is still viewed negatively by most Republicans. But he also holds a 37 percent approval rating — a sharp increase from a similar poll taken two years ago. And Putin is viewed more favorably than any Democratic leader included in the survey.
The poll also shows that Republicans have shifted their views on WikiLeaks after the posting of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. They give the organization of net favorability rating of 27 percent, a 20-point upswing since 2013 when WikiLeaks began leaking classified NSA documents.
What’s going on here, I asked Carleton College political science expert Steven Schier, who emailed me the survey with a one-word heading: “wow.“
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