One-In-Three Say Political Agenda Driving Russia Probe
Thursday, December 07, 2017
As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, one-in-three voters believe the probe is fueled by a political agenda.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 33% of Likely U.S. Voters think Mueller and his team have a political agenda, while 49% think they are attempting to investigate the collusion allegations in an impartial fashion. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
A closer look at the numbers shows that most Democrats (63%) believe the Mueller investigation is legitimate. Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major political party aren’t as convinced, with a sizable 42% and 36%, respectively, believing Mueller and his team have a political agenda. Twenty percent (20%) of Democrats agree.
Still, just 35% of GOP voters and 46% of unaffiliateds believe Mueller and his team are conducting an impartial investigation. But one-in-four (23%) Republicans are undecided as to Mueller’s intentions, as are 17% of Democrats and 18% of unaffiliateds.
In October, just after President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted, 52% said Mueller’s investigation is an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing, while 32% saw it more as a partisan witch hunt.
After President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May, 45% believed the questions being raised about Trump’s firing of Comey were due mostly to concern that the law may have been broken. But nearly as many (43%) said those questions are mostly due to partisan politics.
Special Holiday Offer:
Save 60% on 13 months of Rasmussen Reader service – Just $24.95! Offer good thru December 31, 2017.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 4-5, 2017 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.
Forty-six percent (46%) of voters have at least a Somewhat Favorable impression of Mueller, including 28% who have a Very Favorable one. Thirty-four percent (34%) view the former FBI director appointed by President George W. Bush unfavorably, with 18% who have a Very Unfavorable opinion of him. These findings have changed little since October.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of voters say they are following news reports about the special prosecutor investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government last year closely, including 51% who are following these reports Very Closely. Just 14% are not following these stories closely.
Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing, 67% think Mueller and his team have a political agenda. Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance feel they are investigating in an impartial fashion.
Most (92%) voters who have a Very Favorable impression of Mueller think the investigation is impartial. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters who have a Very Unfavorable opinion of Mueller think he and his team have a political agenda.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats have a favorable impression of Mueller, a view shared by 40% of Republicans and 41% of voters not affiliated with either political party.
Half of all voters (50%) consider it unlikely that Mueller’s investigation will lead to criminal charges against Trump. Thirty-nine percent (39%) disagree and say it’s likely.
After Comey’s firing, 59% believed the firing was meant to pressure the FBI not to investigate any ties between Trump associates and the Russian government.
Fifty-two percent (52%) said the Russia probe prompted the firing of Comey.
Out of a handful of problems facing the United States, 26% of voters rate the Trump administration’s alleged ties to Russia as the most important, ahead of the economy (18%), Obamacare (16%) and taxes and spending (15%).
Fifty-two percent (52%) think Bill and Hillary Clinton’s private dealings with Russian officials should be included in the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.
Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection,
publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events
in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence,
we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions,
sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics
provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day.
If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a
daily update newsletter and various media outlets
across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll
and commentaries are available for free to the general public.
Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year
that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections,
consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers,
Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs
and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.