Majorities of American voters think Russia interfered in the 2016 election -- and did so for Donald Trump’s benefit. In addition, voters feel it’s important investigations continue into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
At the same time, voters are concerned about other issues -- namely, health care.
No wonder the president’s job ratings are underwater. A new Fox News Poll finds 53 percent of voters disapprove of the job President Trump’s doing. That matches the previous high disapproval set in May. Some 45 percent “strongly” disapprove -- which is more than the 41 percent of voters who approve of his performance (27 percent “strongly” approve).
Thursday marks six months since Trump’s inauguration. He scored a positive job rating shortly thereafter: 48 percent approve vs. 47 percent disapprove (February 2017). That was the exception, however, as every month since his ratings have been underwater.
Approval of the president has mostly held steady among Republicans (down three points) since he first took office, but dropped 11 points among working class whites and nine among men.
Meanwhile, voters think Russia interfered in the U.S. election (by a 55-34 percent margin), and five times as many think the Kremlin wanted a President Trump (65 percent) as opposed to a President Hillary Clinton (13 percent).
A 53 percent majority thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin does not take Trump seriously, while 38 percent think he does. Still, that’s more than twice as many as said Putin took President Obama seriously (16 percent, August 2014).
By a 51-32 percent margin, voters favor punishing Russian meddling by imposing new sanctions.
Views split over whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government (43-43 percent), however a majority says it’s “troubling” that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with Russians who promised dirt on Clinton (55 percent).
New information about that meeting continues to come out, which could explain why a growing number say it is “extremely” important to continue investigating coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. Thirty-one percent felt that way in June. Now it’s 36 percent.
Confidence is higher in Robert Mueller (56 percent), who is running the investigation, than in Trump (45 percent). And confidence in the CIA (67 percent) and FBI (73 percent) is much higher than either of them.
Trump’s job approval on Russia is down seven points since April. At that time, 40 percent of voters approved vs. 33 percent now.
Views among partisans
More than 8 in 10 Democrats call Don Jr.’s meeting with Russians “troubling” (85 percent), while most Republicans call it “no big deal” (76 percent).
Only 29 percent of Republicans think Russia interfered in 2016. It’s 82 percent among Democrats. And nearly twice as many Democrats (84 percent) as Republicans (43 percent) think Russia wanted Trump to win.
Fully 89 percent of Republicans did not think Putin took Obama seriously, while 75 percent of Democrats say the same about Trump now.
The poll also includes encouraging findings for the administration. The most voters in a decade say they’re getting ahead financially. Forty-two percent feel that way, up from 35 percent last summer. And while over half say they’re either just able to pay most bills (44 percent) or are falling behind (11 percent), that’s the lowest since December 2007 -- albeit by one point.
That helps Trump earn his best job ratings on the economy: 45 percent approve vs. 46 percent disapprove. That’s net negative one. At the other end of the spectrum, he receives a negative 27 on health care (32-59 percent) and a negative 23 on Russia (33-56 percent).
Faith in Uncle Sam is at a record low. Just 32 percent trust the federal government, down from 36 percent a year ago. The shift comes mainly from a nine-point drop among Democrats (51 percent vs. 42 percent now). Trust among Republicans was 26 percent last June, and stands at 25 percent now under Trump.
The president’s voter commission met for the first time Wednesday.
Most voters, 78 percent, say photo identification should be required before being allowed to cast a ballot. And as a response to cyberattacks, a narrow 53 percent majority would like to see the return of paper ballots.
Democrats (56 percent) and Republicans (54 percent) are about equally likely to say bringing back paper ballots is a good idea.
To varying degrees, majorities of Democrats (60 percent), independents (87 percent) and Republicans (96 percent) favor requiring photo ID for voting.
Trump believes millions of illegal ballots were cast in 2016. Many Americans are also concerned about voting issues -- although it doesn’t reach the same level as other top issues. Fifty-six percent are extremely or very concerned about voter suppression, and 50 percent feel that way about voter fraud.
For comparison, more than 8 in 10 feel concerned about health care (82 percent) and nearly the same number worries about “the future of the country” (81 percent). Some 75 percent are concerned about the economy, 68 percent war with North Korea, and 62 percent about Russian meddling.
By more than a two-to-one margin, that’s what voters say about Trump’s tweeting (61 percent stop - 26 percent continue).
Trump voters (+8 points) and Republicans in general (+4) are more likely than not to want him to continue. By much wider margins, Democrats (+61) and independents (+49) prefer he kick the habit.
Sometimes the president is referred to as the “disruptor in chief.” Is that a term of endearment? Seventy-two percent of self-described “very conservatives” and 78 percent of Trump voters think the disruption Trump has brought to Washington is a good thing.
Among all voters, 37 percent say the disruption is a good thing vs. 51 percent bad thing.
And when the poll also asks voters if the president is on their “side,” a majority, 54 percent, says no. Most Republicans say he is (85 percent), while almost all Democrats (90 percent) and over half of independents disagree (55 percent).
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,020 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from July 16-18, 2017. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.