Poll: Voters Don’t Believe President Trump’s Denials of Campaign Collusion with Russia

Suffolk University/USA Today survey.

Survey shows majority oppose government shutdown & would place blame on Trump.

A majority of voters (59 percent) have little or no trust in President Trump’s denial that there was collusion between his campaign and the Russians to influence the 2016 election, according to a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY national poll.

Yet a smaller percentage (50 percent) said they definitely believe Russians interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump, with 18 percent saying they are not sure about the alleged meddling.

Forty-six percent are convinced that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, while 29 percent said there was no such coordination, and 19 percent weren’t sure. The matter is the subject of an ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“President Trump struggles with trust issues around the Mueller investigation,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “Trump’s worst ratings come from people following the investigation closely, but the president fares better with the nearly half of the registered voter population who are not following the investigation very closely.”

Paying Attention

Overall, 48 percent of registered voters say they are paying a lot of attention to the Mueller probe into Russian meddling, while 36 percent say they are following it a little, and 14 percent say they are paying no attention to it. Awareness of the probe—or lack thereof—appears to shape voters’ opinions on the matter.

Among those respondents tuned in to the Mueller probe, 66 percent say they have little or no trust in President Trump’s denial of collusion. And 56 percent of these voters say they personally believe Trump associates colluded with the Russians who were interfering in the 2016 election; in contrast, 37 percent of those paying little attention to the investigation believe Trump’s associates were involved.

Trust in Mueller also is dependent on awareness of the investigation. Among those following the probe closely, 51 percent say they have lot of trust that Mueller’s investigation is fair and accurate, compared to the 17 percent of those paying little or no attention but who also place a lot of trust in Mueller.

“Voters who are disconnected from the 24/7 news cycles are more willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt or just don’t care enough about the investigation to watch or read up on the latest developments,” said Paleologos.

Majority oppose shutdown

Trump has threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not approve funds for the southern border wall, one of his key campaign proposals. A majority of voters (54 percent) oppose a partial government shutdown, while 29 percent support it, and 14 percent say it makes no difference to them either way. The poll shows that a plurality of voters will blame Trump if the government shuts down: 43 percent would lay such a development at the feet of Trump and the Republicans, while 24 percent would blame Congressional Democrats, and 30 percent would hold both sides equally responsible.

Methodology

The nationwide survey of 1,000 voters was conducted Dec. 11 through Dec. 16 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were registered to vote. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, dpaleologos@suffolk.edu.

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