Press release №1895


  • 31% of Russians consider that the U.S. presidential election campaign was open and honest
  • 39% say it can hardly be seen as truly democratic
  • 45% of Russians would have voted for Trump
  • and only 4% - for Clinton
  • 46% of respondents hope for improvements in Russia-U.S. relations

The US elections drew wide response. Almost half of Russians would have chosen Trump.

MOSCOW, November 18, 2016.  Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of the survey describing the attitudes of Russians towards the U.S. presidential campaign and election results.  

The U.S. presidential campaign has attracted the attention of two-thirds of Russians (69%), whereas in October the share of those who were interested in the U.S. election campaign was 53%. The same trend was observed in 2008: after the voting the level of voters’ awareness was much higher than several months before the elections.  

Russians are divided in their assessments of the transparency and integrity of the American elections: 31% think that the competition was transparent (39% of those who were keeping a close eye on the elections); 39% disagree with that.  

Choosing between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, 45% of Russians opt for the Republican (mainly men – 50%, persons with high level of education – 50%, rather than women – 40% and respondents with the secondary education – 39%). Only 4% support a former U.S. first lady; a further 42% abstain from the voting. Russians tend to consider that Trump is destined to become “one of the best/good” (28%) or “average U.S. presidents (35%).

The outcome of the U.S. elections gave Russians hope for the recovery and strengthening of the Russia-U.S. relations during the Trump’s presidency: according to the November data, 46% of Russians say that the bilateral relations will get better, whereas this share was 29% in October this year.

The VCIOM survey was conducted on November 12-13, 2016, in 130 settlements, 46 regions and 8 federal districts of Russia. Sample size was 1600 persons. The survey was conducted with multi-stage stratified sample based on general rule of walking and quotas at the final selection stage; the sample is representative of the Russian population aged 18 and over according to sex, age, education, type of settlement.  The margin of error (taking into account the design effect) with 95% confidence interval does not exceed 3.5%. The survey method is community-based structured face-to-face interviews. Apart from the margin of error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the field work should be taken into account.

This week U.S. presidential elections took place in the United States. Did you follow the elections or not?*  (close-ended question, one answer, %)
  VI.2008** XI.2008 X.2016** XI.2016
Yes, I followed the election campaign 4 16 12 24
I did not keep a close eye on the campaign but I was interested from time to time 32 53 41 45
No, I did not follow the campaign 61 29 46 30
Don’t know 3 2 1 1

* The candidates for the 2008 US elections were Barack Obama and John McCain.

** In June 2008 and October 2016 the question was “The 2016 American presidential campaign is in the process. Are you watching it or not?”

How would you assess the 2016 U.S. electoral campaign that has come to an end?  (close-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Those who followed the U.S. elections Those who did not follow the U.S. elections
The elections took place in an open and honest political struggle 31 39 14
These elections can hardly be called truly free and democratic 39 43 31
Don’t know 30 18 55
If you had an opportunity to vote for a U.S. presidential candidate, which candidate would you choose?  (close-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Those who followed the U.S. elections Those who did not follow the U.S. elections
Donald Trump 45 56 18
Hillary Clinton 4 5 3
I would abstain from voting 42 33 63
Don’t know 9 6 16
In your opinion, what kind of president will Donald Trump be for the U.S.A.?  (close-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents
One of the best ones 6
A good one 22
An average one 35
A bad one 3
One of the worst ones 3
Don’t know 31
In your opinion, how will the Donald Trump presidency affect the Russia-U.S. relations? (close-ended question, one answer, %)
  XI.2012* X.2016 XI.2016
Relations will get better 25 29 46
Relations will get worse 5 8 3
Nothing will change 65 36 29
Don’t know 5 27 22

* In 2012 the question was “In your opinion, how will the Barack Obama election affect the relations between Russian and the U.S.A.?”

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