American attitudes toward Russia have dramatically shifted following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Recent polling from the Pew Research Center shows that today 7 in 10 Americans see Russia as an enemy. In January, that number was 4 in 10, with almost 5 in 10 Americans describing Russia as a competitor.
There has also been a shift within parties of the view of Russia. Unfavorable views have dramatically increased from 83% unfavorable (41% very unfavorable and 42% somewhat unfavorable) in 2020, to 92% unfavorable (69% very/23% somewhat unfavorable) today. By ideology, more Republicans (92%) view Russia unfavorably today than did in 2020, though Democrats are even more skeptical. In 2020, only 86% of Democrats viewed Russia unfavorably, compared to 94% today.
Perceptions of Russia as a major threat is at an all-time high. Republicans are in safe territory hitting Russia for invading Ukraine and linking the steps that led to Russian aggression to those being taken on contemplated by other adversaries of America. Discussing the Biden Administration’s failures on national security and the differences that Republican leadership can make will contribute to a winning message.