Fox News Poll: Is Russia friend or foe? Voters say foe, think Trump says friend

By a 36-point margin, American voters consider Russia an enemy of the U.S. rather than an ally.  In contrast, by a 53-point spread, most think President Trump sees it the other way around.

The latest Fox News national poll asks voters to label a list of countries as either an ally or an enemy.

North Korea (93 percent), Iran (80 percent) and Syria (76 percent) are viewed as America’s top three enemies.

However, it’s fourth place Russia (64 percent an enemy) that has fallen the most out of favor with voters since 2013, the last time the question was asked on a Fox News Poll.  Its enemy status is up 24 points from four years ago, when 47 percent considered Russia a friend and 40 percent a foe (March 2013).


The poll also asked voters how they thought “President Trump views the U.S. relationship with Russia.”  Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) believe the president sees it as an ally.  Only 20 percent think Trump considers Russia an adversary.

Among Trump voters, 39 percent say Russia is a friend, yet 59 percent think Trump sees it as one.  Compare that to those voters who backed Hillary Clinton in the election:  just 17 percent see Russia as an ally and 84 percent think Trump does.

These findings come on the heels of the Justice Department appointing a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign.  A 68 percent majority approves of that move, while 29 percent disapprove.

Syria (+15) and North Korea (+10) also find their enemy status has increased since 2013.  Iran is down four points.

On the flip side, Canada is viewed as the country’s top ally for the second time (96 percent).  After that it’s Great Britain (95 percent), France (92 percent) and Germany (87 percent) -- the same order as 2013.

The president is currently traveling on his first trip abroad with his first stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Voters view both countries as allies:  Israel by 73 points (83 percent ally vs. 10 percent enemy) and Saudi Arabia by 25 points (58 percent vs. 33 percent).  Not all countries in the Middle East enjoy this level of support.

“As Trump tours the Middle East, Americans express skepticism about some of our allies in the war on terrorism.  Less than half view Pakistan or Iraq as allies of the U.S. On the other hand, Iran and Syria are viewed as enemies; only North Korea scores lower than them on our scale,” says Republican Pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson.

While voters lost the most faith in Russia, Syria and North Korea, some countries have gained it.  Egypt (+17), China (+13), Saudi Arabia (+13) and Iraq (+10) each saw double-digit increases in ally status since 2013.


Eighty-one percent of voters consider Mexico a friend of the U.S.

Is building a wall on your border any way to treat a friend?  Voters say no.  Two-thirds don’t want Trump to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border (65 percent) – and over half don’t think he actually will (59 percent).

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,011 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from May 21-23, 2017.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.