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Most Likely to Skip Comey’s Book, Question Its Accuracy

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fired FBI Director James Comey’s new book and related media interviews don’t seem to be winning any converts. Most voters say they’re unlikely to read the book, perhaps in part because they’re closely divided over whether Comey’s telling the truth or just taking a political shot at President Trump. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 40% of Likely U.S. Voters consider Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty” to be an accurate portrayal of his dealings with Trump. Slightly more (42%) view it as a politically motivated attack on the president. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But only 36% say they are even somewhat likely to read “A Higher Loyalty,” and that includes just 13% who are Very Likely to do so. Sixty percent (60%) are unlikely to read the book, with 31% who are Not At All Likely to read it.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of voters, however, have been closely following news reports about Comey’s book, with 22% who are following Very Closely. Thirty-seven percent (37%) have not been paying close attention to news reports about “A Higher Loyalty,” including 17% who have Not At All been following news reports about it.

These findings are comparable to what voters said in early January about Michael Wolff’s controversial book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 16-17, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Comey has taken to print and the airwaves to angrily denounce Trump, the man who fired him last year. But voters don’t rate Comey’s FBI performance too highly, and more think he should be legally punished for leaking to the media.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats think Comey’s book is accurate. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans and unaffiliated voters by a 45% to 30% margin see it as a political hit job. But one-in-four unaffiliateds (25%) and 19% of Democrats are not sure, compared to just 13% of GOP voters.

Democrats (21%) are twice as likely as Republicans (10%) and unaffiliated voters (9%) to say they are Very Likely to read “A Higher Loyalty.”

The older the voter, the more closely he or she is following news reports about Comey’s book. Older voters are also more skeptical about the book than those under 40 are.

Among voters who have been following news reports about the book Very Closely, 57% believe it is an accurate portrayal of Comey’s dealings with Trump. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of these voters say the book is a politically motivated attack.

Even among those who consider “A Higher Loyalty” accurate, just 27% are Very Likely to read it.

Forty-one percent (41%) of all voters now agree with Trump’s decision to fire Comey, up five points from last May shortly after he was terminated as FBI director. Forty-five percent (45%) disagree with the firing of Comey, down from 51%. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.

Comey charged in a TV interview last weekend that Trump is “morally unfit” to be president, and voters agree that Trump and disgraced former President Bill Clinton are two of a kind as far as morality is concerned.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans – and 50% of all voters – believe senior federal law enforcement officials at the FBI and Justice Department broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency in 2016. Comey was head of the FBI at the time.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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