By a more than two-to-one margin, voters say it would be inappropriate for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller over his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Nearly half of voters, 48 percent, say it would be wrong to remove Mueller, compared to only 22 percent who say it would be appropriate for the Trump administration to dismiss Mueller.
There is a huge gap in partisan perceptions: Democrats say overwhelmingly that firing Mueller would be inappropriate, 67 percent to 11 percent. Independents also tilt heavily against firing Mueller, 47 percent to 19 percent. But Republicans say, 37 percent to 29 percent, that it would be appropriate.
"Forty-eight percent of voters say it would be inappropriate for President Trump to fire Robert Mueller," said Morning Consult Co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. "As a comparison, 34 percent of voters thought Trump’s decision to fire Comey was inappropriate, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult survey from May."
But the polling also suggests large swaths of the electorate remain unsure about Mueller’s investigation. Three-in-10 voters — including 34 percent each of Republicans and independents — have no opinion about whether it would be inappropriate for Trump to move for Mueller’s dismissal.
And on another measure, only 40 percent of voters approve of the way Mueller is handling the investigation. While that is greater than the 27 percent who disapprove, fully one third, 33 percent, don’t know or have no opinion.
Among Republicans, more disapprove of the way Mueller is handing his role as special counsel, 37 percent, than approve, 31 percent. Democrats mostly approve, 54 percent to 18 percent. Independents are divided but tilt toward approval, 35 percent to 27 percent.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted July 20-24. The poll surveyed 3,981 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.