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Poll: More Americans Want Diplomacy Than Sanctions on Russia

A majority of Americans favor diplomacy over further sanctions against Russia, despite the widespread belief that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, a new Gallup poll released this week found. 

The U.S. levied sanctions against Russia this summer over alleged cyber attacks aimed at intelligence and military targets and is considering draft legislation for further sanctions that would hit banking operations. 

Fifty-eight percent of Americans said that in today’s tense political moment it was “more important to improve relations with Russia,” while 36 percent said they were in favor of taking “strong diplomatic and economic steps against Russia.”

“Although U.S.-Russian tensions continue to simmer, more Americans are inclined to believe the U.S. is better off trying to improve relations with Russia,” the pollster said in its analysis of the survey data.

Americans were more likely to want sanctions on Russia if they were closely following news about Russia’s involvement in the election, according to Gallup.

Two-thirds of American respondents told the pollster they follow news about Russia and the 2016 U.S. presidential election closely or very closely. Three-quarters said they believe that Russia interfered in the vote and 16 percent said it did not.

Respondents were split on whether Russian interference impacted the outcome of the election, with 39 percent saying it did change the outcome, and 36 percent saying it did not. 

Gallup conducted the poll on Aug. 1-12 among more than 1,000 Americans in 50 U.S. states.

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