Much was made a few weeks ago of the support of certain Republicans for Vladimir Putin, just as we did not fail to note that Madison Cawthorne, a rookie in the chamber who represents North Carolina, had called the president Ukrainian “brute woke”.
In light of a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, we understand better why Cawthorne’s remarks, but also those of Donald Trump, aroused strong disapproval in the GOP camp.
Young, dynamic and always presenting himself in clothes that give the impression that he has no hesitation in joining the armed forces in the field, Volodymyr Zelensky masters communications and does not hesitate to confront elected officials from multiple countries during his virtual tour.
Despite the brutal context and the photos of his fellow citizens executed by Russian troops, he appears resilient and determined. If Americans already have a penchant for the underdogs, it’s hard not to find inspiration in this resilient point guard.
According to the results of the Pew, they are 72% of Americans to have confidence in the Ukrainian president, far ahead of all the other names proposed. Emmanuel Maron comes in good second while Joe Biden finishes fourth with a low rate of 48%.
You will probably not be surprised in the current context that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin bring up the rear. The Russian president obtains the confidence, and still very weak, of only 4 to 6% of the American citizens questioned.
Putin the pariah
During the Trump years, the Russian leader’s popularity ratings improved, often presented as strong and intelligent by the American president himself. Without evoking overwhelming support, Republicans were more inclined to see Putin in a positive light.
This is no longer the case. The invader of Ukraine now displeases both Democrats and Republicans, which could explain the change in tone of several elected GOP members and the disavowal of recent assertions by Donald Trump.
If the voters of the two major political parties are united in their rejection of the Russian president, the divisions remain however perceptible when they are asked to express their degree of confidence in leaders other than Vladimir Putin.
For example, leaders like Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron are supported by two-thirds of Democratic voters, but they get little more than 40% support among Republicans.
Despite the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, it is quite possible that the conflict will continue for quite some time. On the Russian side, we are now looking at a victory in May.
If I underline the prolongation of the conflict, it is because it constitutes an important fact during an election year in the United States. One might think that the Democrats and Joe Biden are hoping for the Ukrainian resistance to positively highlight the role of the current administration, but we see the Republicans distancing themselves from Vladimir Putin’s decisions and statements.