The CIA has said it's "quite clear" that Russia interfered with our election in order to help the now-president-elect Donald Trump. President Obama and others are looking into the issue, which Trump still denies, despite previously encouraging Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails. Americans—and especially Republicans—have long opposed Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, who called and congratulated Trump when he won the election. Now, however, the GOP is warming up to Putin, Russia, and WikiLeaks following Trump's campaign, according to a new poll from The Economist and YouGov.
The poll found that Putin had a -66 net favorability among Republicans back in July 2014. Now, though, Putin has jumped to only a -10 net favorability. In comparison, Democrats viewed Putin with -54 net favorability in July 2014, and the Russian leader now has a -62 net favorability among Democrats.
For Russia overall, rather than Putin specifically, the net favorability also shot up among Republicans—from -75 in 2014 to just -21 right now.
According to the Washington Post, WikiLeaks had a -47 net favorabilty among Republicans in 2013, compared to a -3 net favorability among Democrats in 2013. Now, WikiLeaks is viewed more positively than negatively by Republicans by a 27-point margin—a 74-point swing. For Democrats, WikiLeaks now has a -28 net favorabilty, down 25 points.
In the past, it was a lot different. Back in 2012, the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that Russia "is without question our number one geopolitical foe." That same year, Trump even tweeted a quote of Romney's tough stance against Russia:
By 2013, Donald Trump was wondering if Putin would be his best friend:
In 2014, Trump called Putin a "big hero" and also retweeted someone who praised Putin and compared him to Trump:
In October, while he was telling crowds "I love WikiLeaks," Trump complimented the "incredible information provided by WikiLeaks"—which was almost certainly a result of Russia's hacking.
No wonder Stephen Colbert recently congratulated Russia on winning the Cold War.