Washington, D.C. - As Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate Russia’s influence during the 2016 presidential election, Americans report polarized attitudes towards the investigation. More Democrats than Republicans are aware of, and are more likely to approve of, the investigation. Independents are least likely to report following the developments of the investigation and are more likely to say that they do not know if they approve or disapprove.
Two-thirds of the American public (67%) are following the ongoing Russia investigation, including 80% of Democrats, 69% of Republicans, and 60% of Independents. Nearly half (48%) of the American public talks to their friends and family about the ongoing investigation. Democrats (62%) are more likely than Republicans (49%) and Independents (41%) to talk to their social circle about the probe. When it comes to recent developments related to the investigation, over half (54%) of the American public is aware of FBI agent Peter Strzok’s recent testimony in front of Congress, and two-thirds are aware of the recent indictment of 12 Russians for interfering in the 2016 elections.
A majority (60%) of Americans believe that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Six in ten Democrats strongly agree that Russia interfered in the elections; in total, 85% of Democrats believe that Russia interfered with the elections. While nearly half (46%) of Republicans agree that Russia meddled in the elections, one third (34%) do not believe it did. Over half of Independents (53%) believe that Russia interfered in 2016.
The majority of Democrats (66%) approve of the job Special Counsel Robert Mueller is doing regarding the ongoing Russia investigation, while less than a third (30%) of Republicans agree. This represents a 36 percentage point difference in approval ratings between the two parties. One in three (35%) Independents approve of the job Mueller is doing leading the investigation.
A vast majority of Republicans (75%) think that the FBI’s investigation and actions around the 2016 elections are the result of political bias against President Trump. Democrats (32%) and Independents (36%) are much less likely to think that the investigation is politically motivated.
About the Study
These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted July 16-July 17, 2018. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 312 Democrats, 374 Republicans, and 204 Independents.
The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online nonprobability sampling polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5.0).
The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 6.3 percentage points for Democrats, 5.8 percentage points for Republicans, and 7.8 percentage points for Independents.
For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.
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