(CN) – Despite a small increase of Americans who have an unfavorable view of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, nearly two out of three people still believe his investigation should continue, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll survey found that 30 percent of Americans have a negative opinion of Mueller, the former FBI director who is investigating improper contact between members of the Trump administration and Russian officials. This number jumped up from a poll taken in March when 20 percent said they had an unfavorable view of the special counsel.
According to the survey, more Americans have become familiar with Mueller, as only 38 percent of respondents said they did not know who he is, compared to 47 percent who said the same last month.
The biggest swing in opinion comes from Republicans, 49 percent of which said they have a negative view of the special counsel. That represents a nearly 20 percent increase from March when 30 percent of Republicans surveyed were asked their opinion on Mueller.
“Although a plurality of Americans are still on the sidelines about Special Counsel Mueller, there’s been a decided increase in those who have a negative view of him as greater attention has been focused on him,” said Lee Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a written statement. “Mueller hasn’t worn well under the barrage of debate about the investigation.”
Despite his growing unpopularity, 65 percent of Americans believe the special counsel should be allowed to continue his investigation. That number is a slight decrease from March when 69 percent said the same. Only 15 percent of those surveyed think Mueller should be fired.
While Mueller continues to investigate possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, a majority of Americans (55 percent) believe Russia is likely or very likely to interfere in the 2018 midterms. This is in sharp contrast to February when 53 percent said they thought Russian interference was not very likely or not likely at all.
The poll surveyed 1,011 adults April 10-13 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3.9 percent.