Poll: Fewer than half of Republicans say Russia interfered in 2016 election
Fewer than half of Republicans believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new Ipsos poll released Wednesday.
Thirty-four percent of Republicans believe that Russia did not interfere in the election and 46 percent believe it did, according to the poll. Meanwhile, a vast majority of Democrats – 85 percent – think Russia did meddle in the election.
Democrats were far more likely to approve of special counsel Robert Mueller’s job performance in the Russian election interference, with 66 percent of Democrats approving compared to 30 percent of Republicans. Thirty-five percent of Independents approved of Mueller’s work in leading the probe.
Far more Republicans believe that political bias against President Trump sparked the FBI probe and actions surrounding the 2016 election, with 75 percent of Republican respondents agreeing with the statement. Just 32 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Independents believe that political bias played a role in the start of the investigation.
The poll also found that Americans across political spectrums are following Mueller’s probe, with 67 percent of the American public keeping track of the investigation.
Sixty-two percent of Democrats said they discuss the investigation with their social circle, compared to 49 percent of Republicans.
The poll was largely conducted as Trump faced backlash for siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of Russian election interference during a press conference.
The president later sought to clarify the comments, saying that he accepts the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election before adding, “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”
Trump again drew criticism from Democrats on Wednesday when he said that Russia was no longer a threat to the U.S., contradicting his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later in the day denied that Trump answered the question on Russia with a negative and was instead refusing to answer any questions.
“He does believe that they would target certainly U.S. election,” Sanders said at the White House press briefing on Wednesday.
Ipsos conducted online interviews with 1,005 American adults from July 16 to 17. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
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