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Just 42% Think Russia Meddled More in 2016 Election Than FBI

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Most voters are now unwilling to give the FBI a pass when it comes to playing politics in the last presidential election.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Russia is more likely than the FBI to have meddled in the 2016 presidential race. But 34% now think the FBI is more likely to have meddled in the election, while one-in-four voters (24%) are not sure which was the bigger meddler. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Most Republicans (55%) believe the FBI is more likely than Russia to have meddled in the 2016 election. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats and unaffiliated voters by a 45% to 30% margin see Russia as the more likely transgressor.

But a sizable 26% of GOP voters, 20% of Democrats and 25% of unaffiliateds are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on February 1 and 4, 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.

Even before last Friday’s release of the House Intelligence Committee memo detailing questionable behind-the-scenes activity by senior FBI officials in 2016, 49% of voters said a special prosecutor is needed to see if the FBI has been playing politics

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to suspect that the FBI meddled more than Russia in the 2016 presidential contest.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of liberals and a plurality (48%) of moderates think Russia is likely to have meddled more. But 55% of conservative voters believe the FBI was the bigger meddler of the two.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing say the FBI is more likely to have meddled in the 2016 election. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s job performance, 78% think Russia is more likely to have meddled. 

Forty-eight percent (48%) of all voters said in December that senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 election. Forty-one percent (41%) disagreed. Rasmussen Reports will be updating that finding tomorrow.

A sizable number of voters, including two-out-of-three Republicans, said last June that former FBI Director James Comey should be punished for leaking to the media.

At year’s end, with special counsel Robert Mueller continuing his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, one-in-three voters said the probe was fueled by a political agenda.

Some recently disclosed internal e-mails also suggest that the FBI chose for political reasons not to seek an indictment of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Less than three weeks before the election, most voters (53%) still disagreed with the FBI's decision not to seek an indictment of the Democratic presidential nominee for her sloppy handling of classified information, but only 44% felt that way after she lost the election.

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

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