Poll: Majority of Americans think Russia will interfere in midterms
A majority of Americans said in a new poll that they believe Russia is likely to interfere in this year’s midterm elections.
The poll, jointly conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist Poll, found that 57 percent of Americans said they believe Russia is likely to attempt to interfere in November, compared to 38 percent who said the Kremlin is not likely to do so.
Opinions are split along party lines.
The poll found that Democrats are more prone to expect that Russia will try to interfere, with 73 percent of them saying it’s likely the Russians will attempt to meddle. Twenty-three percent of Democrats believe it is unlikely.
Among Republicans, 38 percent find it likely Russia will try to interfere in the midterms, while 58 percent said it’s not likely.
Those numbers are reversed among independents, according to the poll.
Despite those differences, a majority of both parties agree that they have faith in the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, pollsters found.
The poll surveyed 1,061 people between July 19 to 22. The margin of error is 3.8 percentage points.
It was released one day after President Trump tweeted that he’s “concerned” Russia will interfere in the 2018 midterms to help Democrats.
The president cited no evidence to back up his claim, which contradicts the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia sought to aid him in 2016.
Trump and the White House have spent much of the past week offering contradictory statements about whether the president believes Russia interfered in the 2016 election and will do so again in 2018, as his intelligence officials have warned.
Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in Finland, where he cast doubt on whether he believed Russia interfered in the 2016 election, citing Putin’s “powerful” denials.
Trump later expressed confidence in the intelligence community’s findings, but undercut his remarks by saying others besides Russia could have interfered. A few days later, he described Russian interference as a “big hoax.”
Trump also appeared to tell reporters “no” when asked last week whether he believed Russia was still a threat. However, the White House later said he was saying “no” to answering additional questions.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned shortly before Trump’s meeting with Putin that warning signs were “blinking red” to indicate Russia was preparing to launch another cyberattack.