Almost 50 percent of Trump supporters regard Russia favorably

Apparently a sizable number of Americans see Russia as a potential ally:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. His cyber cronies have tried to influence the results of the U.S. presidential election. Washington and Moscow are at odds over how to deal with the Syrian civil war, even as Russia is determined to reduce the city of Aleppo to ashes. Putin is harboring Edward Snowden, a man wanted by U.S. authorities for leaking American intelligence secrets. Yet somehow, Putin remains popular with supporters of GOP nominee Donald Trump.

According to a new poll by Politico/Morning Consult released Monday, almost half of Trump supporters believe Russia is an ally, or at least a friendly nation to the United States. Some 19 percent of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s supporters view Russia favorably, compared to 24 percent of Trump backers.

The results of the poll should not come as a shock. Trump has repeatedly praised the Russian strongman, even calling on Russian hackers to release Clinton’s emails. For his part, Putin has also shared warm feelings about the Republican nominee, calling him “colorful.”

Notwithstanding all of the above, maybe the Trump supporters referred to don’t want to see Bashar Assad taken out and a vacuum left in Syria that would quickly be filled by ISIS or some other radical Islamist group.

Like the scenarios that played out after Saddam Hussein was taken out in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, with the consequential widespread death and destruction that has shocked the world.

Maybe those Trump supporters think that the United States and Russia as allies, rather than as adversaries, would be much more effective in the war against ISIS, which, if not dealt with soon, could one day pose an existential threat to the world — especially if they manage to get their hands on a nuke or two, which some experts say is inevitable.