Half of Americans agree that Trump acted “treasonous” during the Helsinki summit

Only five percent of Americans think the summit was more beneficial to the U.S. than to Russia

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, D.C., July 19, 2018 -As President Trump returns from his trip to Helsinki, Finland, where he met with Russian President Putin, Americans are divided about the summit’s benefits to the country and question whether or not President Trump acted in the best interest of the United States.

Americans are aware of the developments of the Helsinki Summit between President Trump and Russian President Putin: 74% of the public has seen, heard, or read about it. Both Democrats (82%) and Republicans (77%) are closely watching, while Independents (70%) are slightly less interested in following the news. 

Half (49%) of Americans agree with former intelligence officials’ assessments that President Trump acted “treasonous” during the Helsinki summit, and just a quarter (27%) disagree. There are sharp partisan divisions here; 80% of Democrats agree, along with 43% of Independents, and one in five (21%) Republicans. 

Only five percent of Americans think that the Helsinki summit was more beneficial to the United States than to Russia. A third of the public (34%) thinks that the summit was more beneficial to Russia than to the United States, and another 31% are not sure who it was more beneficial to. Sixteen percent of Americans think that the Helsinki summit was not beneficial to either country, while 14% believe that it was beneficial to both countries.

Half (51%) of the country agrees that Russia will meddle in the upcoming November 2018 midterm elections, and just a quarter (26%) agree that the Trump Administration is able to prevent future Russian threats. Democrats are especially pessimistic about the prospect of Russian meddling in the elections, as 70% believe that the Kremlin will interfere in the midterms. Half (49%) of independents and 37% of Republicans think that Russia will interfere in November. Republicans (50%) are more confident that the Trump administration will be able to prevent future Russian threats, while Democrats (14%) and Independents (18%) are not convinced. Half (49%) of the public think that President Trump is too deferential towards Putin, including 69% of Democrats and one third (32%) of Republicans.

One in every five (19%) Americans has a favorable view of Putin. Almost a third of Republicans (30%) approve of Putin, while just 10% of Democrats hold a favorable view. Among Democrats, President Trump is equally disliked as Putin: 10% approve and 90% disapprove of the President. 

About this Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted July 18-July 19, 2018. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 338 Democrats, 329 Republicans, and 224 Independents. 

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online nonprobability sampling polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5.0). 

The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 6.1 percentage points for Democrats, 6.2 percentage points for Republicans, and 7.5 percentage points for Independents.

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or 
contact us.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]


Mallory Newall
Director, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs