Poll: Americans More Concerned About Russian Election Meddling

(CN) – A majority of Americans – including a growing number of Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump – believe Russia will interfere with the upcoming midterm elections, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The Marist Poll survey shows that 48 percent believe it is “likely or very likely” Russia will interfere in November’s election. A poll conducted earlier this month found 41 percent thought Russia will interfere.

The nation’s intelligence agencies have already concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA, said in an interview with the BBC last month that he expects Russia will interfere again this year.

“I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that but I’m confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election and that we will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won’t be great,” Pompeo said.

As public opinion falls more in line with American intelligence agencies and their leaders, it falls away from President Donald Trump. The president has repeated his doubts that Russia interfered with American elections, based on his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One in November 2017.

Even among the president’s supporters, a third believe Russia is interfering with American elections, up from earlier this month when only 15 percent thought so.

Although more Americans believe that Russia is trying to interfere in the elections, 44 percent say meddling is either unlikely or won’t happen.

“Although Americans are not ready to sound the alarm about Russian meddling in our midterm elections, more Americans are giving credence to the possibility,” said Lee Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in a written statement.

The survey polled 1,026 adults between Feb. 20-21 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3.6 percent.


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