Apr 17, 2018, 7:00 AM ET

Majorities back Trump summits, tougher sanctions on Russia (POLL)


A bipartisan majority of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll supports tougher sanctions on Russia in response to its alleged international misbehavior. Yet for half, a chitchat at the White House couldn’t hurt, either.

With additional sanctions looming, 68 percent support tougher U.S. measures against Russia, four in 10 strongly so. That view spans partisan groups, a rarity in today’s political climate, including 74 percent of Democrats, and 68 percent of Republicans and independents alike.

See PDF for full results, charts and tables.

Even with support for sanctions, 52 percent favor U.S. President Donald Trump holding a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the White House to try to improve U.S.-Russia relations; 42 percent oppose it on the grounds that doing do so would legitimize alleged international lawbreaking.

The public sees no contradiction in these views; among those who support a summit, 65 percent favor tougher sanctions as well.

A majority, 56 percent, also supports the planned summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, again rejecting the idea that this would legitimize outlaw behavior -- and despite substantial skepticism about its outcome. Two-thirds say the meeting is unlikely to lead to North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons. (Unsurprisingly, those who think the summit will lead to denuclearization support the meeting by 81-14 percent, while skeptics divide evenly.)

The results on both countries underscore a longstanding public preference for talking rather than fighting between nations. Indeed, six in 10 oppose Trump threatening military action against Pyongyang. It’s also notable that most support a summit with Kim even though, in an ABC/Post poll last fall, just 32 percent trusted Trump to act responsibly in dealing with North Korea. In January, 52 percent expressed concern Trump would launch an unjustified nuclear attack; surely talks are preferable.

In another result on Russia, 49 percent say Trump has done too little to criticize Moscow, exceeding the 38 percent who say he’s handled it about right. (Just 4 percent say he’s criticized it too much.) The survey was conducted Sunday through Wednesday, before the U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria. In announcing them, Trump challenged Russia for supporting the Assad regime.


The poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds sharply partisan results on a White House summit with Putin, an idea floated by Trump in a call with the Russian leader. Sixty-nine percent of Republicans support such a meeting, vs. 53 percent of independents and just 37 percent of Democrats. Support also is far higher among conservatives (66 percent) than moderates and liberals, 51 and 37 percent, respectively. That’s a contrast to the bipartisan backing for more sanctions.

There are partisan and ideological gaps on a meeting with Kim, as well; it’s supported by 70 percent of Republicans and conservatives, 56 and 57 percent of independents and moderates, and 46 and 40 percent of Democrats and liberals.

Support for both mooted meetings is significantly higher among more pro-Trump groups, including more men than women, more whites than nonwhites and more rural dwellers than people in cities or suburbs. Support for a summit with Kim is higher among seniors than young adults.

While broadly based, support for tougher sanctions against Russia is 17 points higher among college graduates than noncollege graduates and 18 points higher among seniors than young adults, whose support for sanctions, at 56 percent, is the lowest of any demographic group.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone April 8 to April 11, 2018, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 32-25-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Rockville, Maryland. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

News - Majorities back Trump summits, tougher sanctions on Russia (POLL)

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  • Believer

    Spys that EXPOSED the russian drugged olympians also EXPOSED THE russian mole donalds pee dossier.

  • Ray

    Let our "Stable Genius" make a fool of himself one more time. This moron is our president,....somehow.

  • Richard

    Trump is really opposed to tougher sanctions on Russia, even against the advise of top level officials. His excuse for doing thing this is so feeble. I guess they really do have something on him.

  • Colinalcarz

    Trump hung Haley out to dry,first agreeing to sanctions as part of the retaliation for chemical weapons use, then without informing Haley, rescinding the order to implement them. Haley must be seething. This lack of basic consideration for Haley, a key supporter, could cost him.

  • Michael McCall

    Why does abc think most people would prefer to have trump shmooze putin in the white house? trumps just gonna suck up and put that stupid smile on his face....and end up telling more lies.

  • mollydtt

    Trump is mad at Haley for saying more sanctions would be imposed on Russia. Says she was confused. She says she wasn’t confused. Watch for the tweet fire.

  • Jack25

    It Trump is unwilling to put full sanctions on even after Syria.

  • mikevietvet68/69

    the next time when the gop runs a poll/scam and abc prints it out for the masses to read,please include lower class people other than trumps 1% buddies cause a lot of us common peasants don't ever get asked,just passed right over...we the lower class people hate trump and all his policies.

  • ianemdee

    Putin to his stooge: No more sanctions and I won't embarrass you in Syria.

  • Dukedaddy

    I find it funny that Trump cult members were all for closer ties with Putin and Russia during the campaign and in the first year of Trumps presidency. Now they support tougher sanctions instead of no sanctions at all!.

    Why the flip flop? .....I know!... They're gullible to Trump's propaganda. They will blindly follow him no matter who insane he becomes.

  • WhosVoice

    Why is ABC giving the impression more sanctions are coming? "With additional sanctions looming". They are not. Trump threw Nikki Haley under the bus & no additional sanctions are coming. The compromised Russian asset in the White House has spoken.

  • mollydtt

    Russia sanctions? Really? Would Trump stop blocking imposing Russian sanctions? Really?

  • Mudbone ☠

    Putin is a murderous thug that used a banned chemical weapon in an attempt to murder civilians in a NATO country. He also enables Assad to murder his own people with chemical weapons. Trump has even tried to weaken the NATO alliance and has gone out of his way to hurt relations with our allies. Why should the POTUS meet with a murderous thug like Putin. Trump is a disgrace to the office of the president.

  • concernedvoter

    Just like the First one, where Trump warned the Russians.. This was second Missile strike was the same nonsense.. Trump got Putins blessing and they blew up old aged warehouse and old hardware so Trump can make some noise. Then immediately Putin announces they will supply Syria with the latest Newest Russian Technology and Weapons.. what does Trump do? Blocks the new Sanctions??? LOL

  • Mudbone ☠

    Trump meeting with Putin will just make our democracy worse off. When the blue wave comes and we can throw out the orange man baby we are going to tighten sanctions on Russia. Soon all Russians will be eating shoe leather and their intestines will be full of worms like the North Koreans.

  • concernedvoter

    And to top this all off this Orange Imbecile is once again Blocking the new Russian Sanctions?? I guess that staged Missile Strike with Putins Blessing and Trumps fake Russia Talk didn't fool anyone.. LOL

  • Mudbone ☠

    Man Putin is really short. I was wondering why it looked like Obama was towering over him. Proof that evil can come in really small packages.

  • Mudbone ☠

    The survey says....republicans are traitors?

  • Jackie

    What is Putin holding over tRump's head? Is it the P-tape? Proof of everything in the dossier? Money laundering? It is soo obvious that tRump is guilty of something and Vlady has the proof.

  • novamcln

    Vlad to Trump in Oval Office:

    "Thank you for invite. I have present. This pee tape. I'm sure Melania would love to see. About those sanctions. I think there should be none. You agree with me on this. No? Ok. I call Melania now. We screen your little 'vacation' movie with peeing hookers. No, don't call her you say? You drop sanctions, yes? That good boy, little Donald. You hold on to this copy of pee movies. I have plenty more copies. One for me. One for Melania. One for Ivanka. One for Baron. One for every major news outlet. I can do Oprah imitation very good. Want to hear it? If you don't do as Vlad tell you, you WILL hear it. It goes like this. YOU get pee tape, and YOU get pee tape, and YOU get pee tape... everybody get pee tape! See I sound just like Oprah, yes? Now fetch me cup of coffee, little covfefe boy."

  • katerant

    Meanwhile, Sarah HuckaSand released photos of 'Trump being briefed on Syria' yesterday. Trouble is, Mike Pence was in the photo. While he was also in Peru.

  • Bill Snith

    How is a meeting of the leaders of the world's two most powerful nations controversial in any way?

  • novamcln

    Putin is a murdering mafia head masquerading as the leader of a country. There are no free elections in Russia. Their 'elections' are scams and a violation of even the barest pretense of choice. There is no way in hell THIS president of the United States should meet with such a dictator, because Trump has no will or capacity to deal with Putin as what he is, a threat to democracy world wide. Putin seeks an audience with the Trump to gain stamp of legitimacy. Anyone who can't see that is simply stupid.

  • MauiOhana808

    donnie did nothing about sanctions last December, and he has not, and will not, do anything regarding the new sanctions with Russia either......................I wonder what Vlade has on donnie?!!!!
    Make America Happy Again!
    Aloha :^D

  • J P

    I cannot figure out if the sanctions are on or off. Last I heard Trump stopped them. Which is it? Trump is playing Russian roulette and will lose because the U.S. has no game plan.

  • James Coletrane

    It appears pretty much everybody supports Russia sanctions except Trump and Putin.

  • John Phillips

    WHERE are the sanctions that Niki Haley spoke about. As I understand it, they STILL haven't imposed all of the sanctions passed by Congress last November. And they say that 45 was not happy with the high number of Russian diplomats told to leave the country. Trump's actions/inactions regarding Putin and Russia are perplexing to say the least. Something weird is going on.

  • Lawrence Wilson

    Meanwhile support for more polls is at an all time high!

  • dynamited88

    Sorry friends, Dotard is not going to meet Kim -- there is absolutely zero planning going on, whens the date in May, again?

  • Monique Bizzell

    This is scary. It shows that the narrative is working. Too bad. You have to get news from outside of the USA to really see the big picture. This country is in trouble. There is a reason they hate the USA. You won't learn about why from the USA media. Wake up.

  • rightened

    Majority backs them. Too bad TRUMP JUST SPIT IN HALEY'S FACE.

  • flnycus

    Majorities back policy not the man.
    Also the majority voted (i hate her too) Hillary and Al Gore. So why are nutjobs who have no clue about economics, immigration and science the ones really running this country?!

  • katerant

    You can sure tell the articles from Sinclair.

  • 40acre

    I don't disagree with summit meetings....But in general I would like to know what our foreign policy was before leaders meet. More specifically I would like to know we actually HAD a foreign policy plan. Summits should be the final chapters in forging bonds between nations....not the opening gambit in a ego driven tug of war.

  • David_S

    This is why polls are such terrible indicators:
    "Unsurprisingly, those who think the summit will lead to denuclearization
    support the meeting by 81-14 percent, while skeptics divide evenly."

    That means that 14 percent of those who believe the meeting will lead to denuclearization of North Korea don't support such a meeting. What the hell? Who are these people that don't want North Korea to lose their nukes? Or is that 14 percent just the people who select random answers in a poll because they don't care?

  • TexasVulcan

    I certainly have no problem with either of those. I am always in favor of diplomacy. Let's see if President Trump is up to the task.

  • JerseyJeff78

    This is what is odd about Trump and draws suspicion.

    Trump is ratings obsessed and often acts and speaks to please his supporters and try to raise his ratings, but when it comes to sanctioning and getting tough with Russia, Trump doesn’t consider his ratings or what’s supported at all.

    The divide between Trump and his own administration, the military and the country when it comes to dealing with strength against Russia is very apparent.

  • Alex

    Last I heard Trump has backpedaled on sanctions against Russia...again.

  • Jon

    "Majorities back tougher sanctions on Russia." Wait a minute, I thought Trump back out on those sanctions. Oh, nevermind. That was yesterday. Today is a new day.

  • Alex Ross

    Shouldn't Russia prove they are willing to talk FIRST, before they just show up at the WH to get a thumb drive of all our secrets - while laughing at the fake sanctions.

  • Betty Boop

    I don’t know what good will come out of a summit with Putin because you can’t believe anything he says. Trump will come out of it saying he looked into his eyes and saw a trustworthy friend. As for Kim, I’m afraid that Trump lift sanctions for their nuclear capability.

  • Mudbone ☠

    Well this sort of proves that Republicans are OK with Trump colluding with Putin. Man there is a lot of stupid Americans posing as Republicans.