By Jeremy D. Rosner
Despite attacks by President Trump and his allies on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the investigation he is leading, a new survey shows the public believes Russia meddled in the 2016 election, is concerned about it, and is prepared to support Trump’s impeachment if the investigation produces evidence of illegality.
The survey also shows that, if there is evidence of crimes, members of Congress who attacked the Mueller inquiry could pay a high price in November. These polling results send a clear message to elected officials that their constituents care deeply about protecting the Mueller investigation. A strong 64% majority – including 62% of Republican voters in GOP-held House districts – say they will be less likely to vote for their members of Congress if the Mueller investigation produces evidence of criminal activity, and their House member had been involved in efforts to attack or stall the investigation.
The survey suggests voters would also turn strongly against the President if the investigation produces evidence of illegal actions by Trump or his team, with little variability depending on the details of the crimes. Whether the illegality involved unlawful coordination with Russia, obstruction of justice, or financial crimes by Trump’s companies; and whether it directly involved Trump, or only his top aides – solid majorities, ranging from 58% to 65%, say they would support Trump’s impeachment. In each case, support for Trump’s impeachment includes solid majorities of independents, and about a third of all Republicans:
Such evidence of a likely public swing against Trump and the Republican Congress, if clear wrong-doing emerges, helps explain the intense, coordinated attacks they have launched on Mueller and his investigation. These attacks may be having some impact; although a 57-43% majority say they have high confidence in Mueller’s investigation, that margin is relatively narrow.
But the survey shows a strong majority feel more confident about Mueller and his investigation once they hear the most basic information about him – and it is worth keeping in mind that Mueller is still not a well-defined figure for most of the public. A 59% majority are more likely to trust Mueller and his handling of the investigation when they hear this statement: “Mueller has an outstanding record of integrity and patriotism. He is a highly decorated former Marine who fought in Vietnam. As US Attorney he served under both Democratic and Republican presi-dents, and built a reputation for fearlessly going after corruption and sticking to facts.”
The public is already highly concerned about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Already, 65% believe it is true that Russia was trying to interfere in the 2016 election, and 67% say this is a very or somewhat serious concern to them personally, including 36% who say it is a “very serious concern.” As respondents hear about three ways of describing facts already established, the share who say they are “very concerned” rises further, to over 40% in each case:
It is notable, in the messages below, that nearly two-thirds reject the Trump claim that there was “no collusion,” and instead express real concern that the facts already established suggest just the opposite.
These findings are based on an online nationwide survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted January 29 to February 3, 2018. The survey was commissioned by Stand Up America; it was designed and fielded by DC-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.
Click here to view the original memo.