Gallup Poll: Most Americans want to improve relations with Russia, rather than impose sanctions

  • 58% say it’s more important to try to improve relations
  • 36% think U.S. should take strong diplomatic or economic steps
  • Those closely following story on Russia and the 2016 election prefer sanctions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an era of increasingly tense U.S.-Russian relations marked by allegations of Russian meddling in U.S. elections, Americans believe it is more important to try to continue efforts to improve relations between the countries (58%), rather than taking strong diplomatic and economic steps against Russia (36%).

Bar graph showing 58% in U.S. think improving relations with Russia is more important, while 36% prefer strong sanctions.

Gallup asked a similar question in 1994, when an even larger margin preferred improving relations with Russia over sanctions, 76% to 20%. That poll was conducted after former CIA agent Aldrich Ames and his wife were arrested on charges of spying for Russia. Ames was later convicted of espionage.