Belief in Trump Collusion With Russia Split Along Party Lines

(CN) – A slight majority of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center last week think senior members of President Donald Trump’s administration probably had improper contacts with Russia during his campaign last year.

The center released results of its survey of 1,503 adults across the United States on Thursday, noting deep partisan divisions on the issue. Just 19 percent of Republicans said they think the Russia probe is “very important” to the nation, compared with 71 percent of Democrats.

While 30 percent of respondents think senior Trump officials “definitely” had contacts with Russia last year during the campaign, 59 percent responded they believe the contacts either “definitely” or “probably” occurred.

Those responses were also divided along party lines, with 26 percent of Republicans and right-leaning independents saying Trump officials definitely or probably had improper Russian contacts and 82 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents saying the same.

The center conducted the survey as former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn was pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of potential ties between the campaign and Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential election.

According to the Pew poll, 68 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans say they are at least somewhat confident Mueller will conduct a fair investigation.

For those who said it is at least probable that senior Trump administration officials had improper contacts with Russia, just 36 percent were very confident in Mueller’s fairness. Only 12 percent of those who said there was probably or definitely no improper contact held the same view.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s poll numbers have dropped sharply among Republicans since he took office, down to 76 percent from 84 percent in February.

His job approval ratings among Democrats remain mostly unchanged at 7 percent.

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