Voters believe Russia more likely to meddle for GOP in midterms than for Democrats
President Donald Trump says heâs âvery concernedâ that Russia will meddle in this yearâs midterm elections â" as part of an effort to help Democratic candidates.
But a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows very few voters agree. While a majority of those surveyed think Russia will try to influence the election â" a combined 52 pe rcent say itâs at least somewhat likely â" just 13 percent say Russia would be more likely to try to help Democrats win.
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Nearly four times as many voters, 47 percent, say Russia would be more likely to try to help Republicans.
The poll was in the field July 19-23, after Trumpâs meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. But it was conducted before Trump floated the possibility that Russia â" which U.S. officials have concluded attempted to aid Trumpâs election in 2016 â" would work to aid Democratic candidates this fall.
âIâm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming [e]lection,â Trump tweeted Tuesday. âBased on the fact that no [p]resident has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely donât want Trump!â
The survey asked about Russian attempts to in fluence election outcomes â" in 2016, and in the next two elections â" though it didn't explore the specific ways in which individuals affiliated with the Russian government could interfere.
Federal prosecutors working for Robert Mueller, the special counsel, earlier this month filed charges against 12 Russians allegedly involved with hacking Democratic Party computer systems and working to disseminate the data. That effort was apparently designed to harm Democratic candidates, though U.S. officials stress that attempted hacks of election administrators did not result in altering actual vote tabulations.
While Putin has denied Russia was involved, he acknowledged in the summit news conference last week that he wanted Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton.
As for the next presidential election in 2020, the numbers are similar: Fifty-three percent of voters say itâs at least somewhat likely Russia will try to influence the race, and far more voters say the Rus sians would get involved to help Trump (47 percent) than the presidentâs opponents (12 percent).
Trump came under fire last week when he offered little criticism of Putin during a joint news conference with the Russian leader after their meeting and appeared to give equal weight to Putinâs denials that his government meddled in the 2016 election as the U.S. governmentâs assertion that Russians were involved. The next day, Trump attempted to backtrack, saying he misspoke at the news conference.
Asked whether Russia influenced the results of the 2016 presidential election, more voters say Russia did influence the results (42 percent) than say it didnât (35 percent), the poll shows. But nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, have no opinion.
Asked whether Russia tried to influence the election, however, a 56 percent majority says it did. Only 21 percent of voters believe Russia didnât try to influence the results of the 2016 election.
Voters, over all, are divided on the Trump-Putin summit: Thirty-seven percent describe it as a success, while 36 percent say it wasnât successful.
Trumpâs marks for the summit are slightly lower: Just 26 percent of voters say the meeting gave them a more favorable view of Trump, compared with 34 percent who said it gave them a less favorable view.
Only a quarter of voters, 25 percent, say they have a lot of confidence in Trump to handle threats posed by Russia. A further 18 percent say they have some confidence, while a combined 45 percent donât have much confidence or any confidence at all in the president when it comes to Russia.
Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consultâs managing director, said votersâ trust in Trump when it comes to Russia has declined â" especially among the presidentâs electoral base.
âGOP confidence in the president to manage Russian aggression has dropped significantly amid contradictory messages from the White House following the Helsink i summit,â said Sinclair. âTwo weeks ago, 58 percent of Republicans said they had a lot of confidence in Trumpâs ability to handle those threats, compared to 49 percent who said the same today.â
Despite that, the meeting hasnât had an immediate effect on Trumpâs overall job rating. Forty-five percent of voters approve of Trumpâs job performance, virtually unchanged from last weekâs 44 percent. A slight majority, 51 percent, disapprove.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,996 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.
More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents â" Toplines: https://bit.ly/2Loepa0 | Crosstabs: https://bit.ly/2A3RPOESource: Google News Russia | Netizen 24 Russia