President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election may be taking hold not only among Republicans but Democrats and independents as well, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The Politico/Morning Consult poll found Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s favorability among Democrats and independents took a slight dive over the last 11 months. Twenty-four percent of Democrats registered an unfavorable score for Mueller, while 33 percent of independents also viewed Mueller in a negative light.
Last July, Mueller’s approval ratings among both Democrats and independents were higher. The former FBI director received a positive 28 percent rating among independents, and 32 percent from Democrats.
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Overall, a record 53 percent of the poll’s respondents shared an unfavorable reaction to Mueller, a 26-point jump since Politico/Morning Consult first started polling the special counsel’s favorable and unfavorable rating among registered voters.
Still, 50 percent of Democrats view Muller favorably and approve of his work. To date, the investigation has handed down 18 indictments and resulted in five guilty pleas, including from three members of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
But, as Trump continues to label Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt” led by “13 angry Democrats,” more voters now believe the probe to be “handled unfairly.” In the latest poll, 40 percent of voters, compared to 34 percent in February, question the probe’s integrity and fairness.
The poll did not draw a direct correlation to the president’s attacks on the probe, but the results did come as Trump, on a near daily basis, has attacked the integrity of the investigation together with his recently hired attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Prior to departing for the Group of 7 summit and then on to Singapore for his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Trump took a shot at the probe by saying he won’t be talking about it for “a while” as he traveled the globe.
“I am heading for Canada and the G-7 for talks that will mostly center on the long time unfair trade practiced against the United States. From there I go to Singapore and talks with North Korea on Denuclearization. Won’t be talking about the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax for a while!” Trump tweeted Friday.
Trump has also issued cries against the “deep state” that he has accused of plotting to derail his presidency, while calling for the FBI and Justice Department to investigate his political foes, like former FBI director James Comey.
“The Obama Administration is now accused of trying to give Iran secret access to the financial system of the United States. This is totally illegal. Perhaps we could get the 13 Angry Democrats to divert some of their energy to this “matter” (as Comey would call it). Investigate!” Trump said Thursday.
The poll was conducted from June 7 to 10, and the results were based on the responses from 1,994 registered voters. The margin of error was plus-minus 2 percentage points.
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