While the talk in the news in recent weeks has been on President Donald Trump’s connection to Russia, a new poll shows that millennials favor President Vladimir Putin and his government more than any other generation.
The survey released from Public Policy Polling showed that 22 percent of millennials have a favorable view of Putin. Meanwhile, 23 percent of millennials (18-29 years old) have a favorable view of Russia, compared to 37 percent who have an unfavorable view. 40 percent of millennials are still unsure what they think of Russia.
Compared to millennials, 16 percent surveyed between 30-45 years old have a favorable view, while 10 percent of those 46 and older favor Russia. More than 60 percent of those 30 and older have an unfavorable view of Russia. Putin gets a favorable rating of 11 percent from 30-45 year olds, 8 percent from 46-65 year olds, and 7 percent from 65 and older.
This poll comes as surprising considering the fact that Trump has the lowest favorability at 35 percent with millennials (18-29 years old) than any other generation.
A lot of the criticism that the Trump White House has faced has come from their ties to Russia. In a new report from the New York Times, phone records and intercepted calls show that several Trump campaign aides allegedly had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials.
This week, General Michael Flynn was asked by the President to resign his post as the National Security Adviser over his communications with Russia’s Ambassador to the United States Sergey I. Kislyak and misleading Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn’s resignation comes less than a month after Trump was sworn into office. It’s created a PR disaster for the White House.
Of course, a reason that millennials have a favorable view of Russia more than any other generation is experience. Typically, millennials are defined as being born between 1980 and 2000. The Cold War ended in 1991, meaning that the oldest any millennial was at that point was 11 years old. Their development and the way they view the world and politics was formed in a post-Cold War era where the United States extended more olive branches to the Kremlin than before.
In recent years under the Obama administration, however, the once-celebrated (and often mocked) Russian reset has turned frosty again after Russia’s purported takeover of Crimea. President Trump’s move to thaw relations are viewed with heavy scrutiny because it portrays Trump cozying up to a ruthless leader in Putin.
After all, Trump prefers making Russia a friend than an enemy.