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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Most Say Trump Knew About Efforts to Mislead Investigators

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Public divided on sway Russia has over president

West Long Branch, NJ – The Monmouth University Poll finds that more than 6-in-10 Americans believe that President Donald Trump was aware that people like Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort or others tried to conceal information from federal investigators.  Half believe that he personally asked at least some of them to do it.  The poll also finds that half the public continues to be concerned that Trump may be too friendly toward Russia. A majority believe that his family’s business dealings in Russia influence how he deals with that country and they are evenly divided on whether Russia might have damaging information about the president that they are using against him.  Most Americans say that the federal government is still not doing enough to stop Russian meddling in the U.S. election process.

Fully 62% of the public believes Trump was aware of people associated with his campaign trying to mislead government investigators or Congress. Just 32% say he had no knowledge of this. Half (50%) believe that Trump has personally asked others to provide misleading information about his business dealings or Russian election interference compared to 42% who feel he has not done this.  Among Democrats, 91% say the president was aware of dishonesty by others and 84% say Trump personally asked others to mislead investigators.  Among independents, 62% say he was aware of dishonesty by others and 49% say he personally asked others to mislead investigators.  Among Republicans, 26% say he was aware of dishonesty by others and 13% say he personally asked others to mislead investigators.

“After a number of indictments and guilty pleas, there’s a pervading sense that Trump was aware that others were trying to cover up his business dealings or what his campaign may have known about Russian meddling in the 2016 race,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll also finds the public remains divided on Moscow’s sway over Trump.  Just over half (55%) say the president’s family either definitely (32%) or probably (23%) has financial interests or other ties to Russia that influence how Trump deals with that country.  About 4-in-10 disagree, saying there is either definitely (19%) or probably (20%) no such connection.  These results are similar to findings in a Monmouth poll taken last March.  The public is divided on whether the Russian government has harmful information about the president that it is using to try to influence him – 46% say this is definitely (19%) or probably (27%) true while 47% say it is definitely (23%) or probably (24%) not true.

The public is also divided on whether Trump may be too friendly toward Russia. Half (50%) are concerned about this, including 40% who have a lot of concern and 10% who have a little concern. Another 47% say they are not concerned about the president’s stance toward Russia. Opinion on this question has been fairly consistent over Trump’s term, with the number who are concerned ranging between 48% and 54% in polls taken since just before his inauguration.

Just under half of the public (45%) feels that Trump’s attitude toward Russia presents a national security risk to the U.S., while 51% feel it does not.  This is a small flip from last March when 50% felt the president’s attitude toward Russia posed a risk and 45% said it did not. The public was evenly divided on this question in July 2017 when 48% said Trump’s Russia stance posed a risk and 48% said it did not.

“Despite many revelations over the past year, public opinion about the impact and influence Russia has over Trump has stayed within a very narrow range,” said Murray.

Just over two-thirds of Americans say that Russia definitely (40%) or probably (29%) interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.  Only 1-in-4 feels that there was no such interference (10% definitely not and 16% probably not).  The 69% who currently believe that Russia meddled in the presidential race falls between the 73% who felt this way in March 2018 and the 65% who said the same in July 2017.

Nearly half of Americans (46%) believe Russian election interference has caused a lot of damage to American democracy, including 75% of Democrats, 42% of independents, and just 18% of Republicans.  Another 21% of the public says that it caused a little damage and 30% say it caused no damage at all.  These results are in line with Monmouth polls taken over the past two years.  Just 27% of the public feels the U.S. government is doing enough to stop Russian interference in the American electoral system while 57% say it is not doing enough, a result that is nearly identical to polling from a year ago.

“Views of the president’s ties to Russia look like almost any other aspect of public opinion related to Trump. Very few Republicans believe anything negative about him and nearly all Democrats are inclined to accept damaging information, while independents are almost evenly split,” said Murray.

Just over half of Americans (51%) feel that the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference and possible links to the Trump campaign should continue.  Another 45% say this investigation should be brought to an end. Support for continuing the special counsel investigation has hovered between 52% and 54% in polls taken between April and November 2018.  Prior to that, about 6-in-10 Americans supported continuing the investigation (60% in March 2018 and 62% in July 2017).

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from January 25 to 27, 2019 with 805 adults in the United States.  The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

 

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

 

[Q1-17 previously released.]

[Q18-25 held for future release.]

 

On another topic…

  1. A special counsel is currently conducting an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links with the Trump campaign. Should the Russia investigation continue or should it end?
TREND: Jan.
2018
Nov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
July
2017
May
2017*
Continue 51% 54% 52% 52% 54% 60% 62% 73%
End 45% 43% 46% 45% 43% 37% 33% 24%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 3% 2% 3% 3% 3% 5% 3%
(n) (805) (802) (805) (806) (803) (803) (800) (1,002)

*May’17 question was asked about the then-ongoing FBI investigation

 

  1. Do you think the Russian government tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election – would you say definitely, probably, probably not, or definitely not?
TREND: Jan.
2019
March
2018
July
2017
Definitely 40% 43% 36%
Probably 29% 30% 29%
Probably not 16% 14% 18%
Definitely not 10% 9% 10%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 3% 6%
(n) (805) (803) (800)

 

  1. If Russia did interfere in the presidential election, how much damage did it cause to American democracy – a lot, a little, or none at all?
TREND: Jan.
2019
March
2018
July
2017
A lot 46% 44% 47%
A little 21% 25% 21%
None at all 30% 29% 28%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 3% 4%
   (n) (805) (803) (800)

 

  1. Is the U.S. government doing enough or not doing enough to stop Russian interference in the American electoral system?
TREND: Jan.
2019
March
2018
Enough 27% 27%
Not enough 57% 59%
(VOL) No interference happening 2% 2%
(VOL) Don’t know 14% 12%
   (n) (805) (803)

 

  1. Are you concerned or not concerned that President Trump may be too friendly toward Russia? [If CONCERNED: Are you concerned a lot or a little?]
TREND: Jan.
2019
March
2018
July
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Jan.
2017
Aug.
2016*
Concerned, a lot 40% 39% 38% 39% 37% 33% 32%
Concerned, a little 10% 13% 16% 12% 11% 15% 13%
Not concerned 47% 46% 44% 45% 49% 48% 49%
(VOL) Don’t know 2% 3% 3% 4% 3% 3% 3%
(n) (805) (803) (800) (1,002) (801) (801) (803)

*Registered voters

 

  1. Do you think Trump’s attitude toward Russia does or does not present a national security threat to the U.S.?
TREND: Jan.
2019
March
2018
July
2017
May
2017
Does 45% 50% 48% 48%
Does not 51% 45% 48% 46%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 5% 4% 7%
(n) (805) (803) (800) (1,002)

 

  1. Do you think members of the Trump family have financial interests or other ties to Russia that influence the way President Trump deals with the Russian government – would you say definitely, probably, probably not, or definitely not?
TREND: Jan.
2019
March
2018
Definitely 32% 29%
Probably 23% 28%
Probably not 20% 19%
Definitely not 19% 17%
(VOL) Don’t know 6% 6%
(n) (805) (803)

 

  1. Do you think the Russian government has harmful information about Donald Trump that they are using to try to influence him – would you say definitely, probably, probably not, or definitely not?
  Jan.
2019
Definitely 19%
Probably 27%
Probably not 24%
Definitely not 23%
(VOL) Don’t know 7%
(n) (805)

 

  1. Do you think Donald Trump did or did not personally ask anyone to mislead government investigators or Congress on his business dealings or Russian interference in the election?
  Jan.
2019
Did 50%
Did not 42%
(VOL) Don’t know 8%
(n) (805)

 

34A.  Even if he did not personally ask them to, do you think Donald Trump was or was not aware of people associated with his campaign trying to mislead government investigators or Congress?

  Jan.
2019
Was aware 62%
Was not aware 32%
(VOL) Don’t know 6%
(n) (805)

 

[Q35-41 previously released.]

 

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from January 25 to 27, 2019 with a national random sample of 805 adults age 18 and older, in English. This includes 405 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 400 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. Telephone numbers were selected through random digit dialing and landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

Self-Reported

25% Republican
45% Independent
30% Democrat
 
48% Male
52% Female
 
30% 18-34
33% 35-54
37% 55+
 
65% White
12% Black
15% Hispanic

  8% Asian/Other

 
68% No degree
32% 4 year degree
  

 

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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