The 2016 race to the White House between presumptive nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is shaping up to be a tight contest. But there's at least one place overseas that has a clear preference for the Republican Trump over the Democrat Clinton: Russia.
The Japan Times reported that Russians "would overwhelmingly prefer" the blustery billionaire over Clinton, who's long been the likely nominee but by one count just now officially earned the nod. The Associated Press reported Monday night that the former secretary of state had secured enough delegates to lock up the nomination over rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Japan Times cited a poll circulated by Russia's Interfax news agency.
The survey reportedly found that 28 percent of Russians felt a Trump presidency would be better for bilateral relations, while Clinton registered just 9 percent support. Half of the people polled had a negative opinion of Clinton, while about one in four had a negative opinion of Trump.
Politico recently reported that the Kremlin has pushed propaganda backing Trump, who has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. In December, the GOP nominee said it was "a great honor" to be praised by Putin, a man who is "highly respected within his own country and beyond." Putin had called Trump a "very colorful, talented person."
When questioned on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about Putin's apparent penchant for killing journalists or invading countries, Trump said, "He's running his country, and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country," adding that the U.S. "does plenty of killing" as well.
The congenial relations between the two leaders has continued throughout the election cycle. Trump's April foreign relations speech was reportedly a hit with the Kremlin, and Putin and the GOP nominee have continued to trade compliments.
The United States' relations with Russia have turned especially icy as the West has accused the Kremlin of backing separatist rebels in Ukraine during a bloody conflict that has left more than 9,000 dead since it started in April 2014.
Trump has also attracted support from other nations with somewhat sour feelings toward the U.S. In a recent newspaper column, the hermetic government of North Korea called the GOP nominee a "prescient presidential candidate."