December 7, 2018
NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll National Survey Results & Analysis
More than three in four Americans (76%) think the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election should be released to the public in its entirety. Six percent think only the portions approved by the Trump administration should be made public, and 10% do not think the report should be made public at all. Eight percent are unsure. While Democrats (91%) are more likely than Republicans (68%) and independents (75%) to believe the entire report should be released, bipartisan consensus exists on this question.
A majority of Americans (54%) think the Mueller investigation is fair while 33% call it a “witch hunt.” 13% are unsure. Opinions splinter along party lines. 82% of Democrats and a majority of independents (55%) think the probe is fair. While 71% of Republicans consider the investigation a “witch hunt,” a notable 17% say it is fair.
There is broader consensus that Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation. 67% of Americans have this view, including a majority of Republicans, while 18% say Mueller should be fired. 15% are unsure. These proportions are little changed from when this question was last reported in July.
81% of Democrats, 51% of Republicans, and 70% of independents think the Mueller investigation should be seen through to its completion.
“Much to the Trump Administration’s dismay, , the overwhelming majority of Americans want to know who did what in Mueller’s investigation of 2016,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “A majority of Republicans think Mueller should be allowed to finish the investigation, and more than two-thirds want to be able to see the full report even though most GOP’ers do not think the investigation is fair.”
29% of U.S. residents, compared with 33% in July, have a favorable impression of Mueller. 33% have an unfavorable view of him, similar to 30% last time. 39% have either never heard of Mueller or are unsure how to rate him.
President Donald Trump’s job approval rating stands at 42%, little changed from the 41% he received in November. 49% disapprove, and 9% are unsure. 24% of Americans strongly approve of how Trump is doing in office, and 37% strongly disapprove.
As lawmakers prepare for the new session of Congress, a majority of Americans (56%) remain pessimistic about the direction of the nation. 36%, though, report the country is moving in the right direction. Eight percent are unsure. These proportions are identical to those reported in the April NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.
“President Trump is about to face a new Congress with a public looking for a new direction,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “As long as his approval rating remains consistently in the low 40’s he will find the bully pulpit comes up short. He remains popular with his base, but that’s it.”
When the new Congress convenes in January, Americans want the economy and jobs (19%) atop lawmakers’ priority list. Immigration (17%) and health care (16%) closely follow. 10% want federal taxes and spending to be the leading issue for the 116th Congress. Striking partisan differences exist. 35% of Republicans report immigration policy should be the priority while 24% of Democrats say addressing health care should be the first order of business. Little consensus exists among independents.