- Overall, 22% of Americans think the special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation vindicates President Donald Trump, while 33% think it implicated him, according to an INSIDER survey.
- Later in the survey, INSIDER inquired as to whether the respondent had, in fact, managed to skim the Mueller report yet. Most had not.
- The respondents who later indicated they had not in fact read the report were more likely to say it exonerated Trump.
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An INSIDER survey conducted immediately after the redacted version of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation came out found that 22% of respondents believed the 448-page document vindicated President Donald Trump. About 33% of respondents believed the report implicated him.
The national survey was conducted on SurveyMonkey Audience beginning the same day on which the report was released and continued through April 19, finishing with 1,101 respondents.
Given the instantaneous nature of the poll, the considerable length of the report and the steadfastness of the opinions of respondents, we were interested in a few details: Have these people actually read the report?
While our first question asked people to assess the question of how Trump fares in the report, fourteen questions later, after an unrelated political survey, we asked “Have you read the Mueller report?”
- 31% said “no, and I don’t currently plan to.”
- 32% said “no, but I intend to.”
- 24% said “yes, but I haven’t yet completed it”
- 5% said “yes, in its entirety”
- 8% said “I don’t know / understand”
So while only 29% of respondents at least partially read the Mueller report, more than twice as many, 67%, drew a conclusion about whether the report vindicated or implicated the president.
According to our data, 33% said they didn’t know or hadn’t read it. Let’s set those honest respondents aside and look at the the 703 respondents who developed an opinion.
Of the 398 respondents who later admitted they hadn’t read it:
- 34% said it vindicated the president
- 21% said they were unsure
- 43% said it implicated him.
For comparison, among those who said they read at least part of the report:
- 29% said it vindicated the president
- 14% said they were unsure
- 56% said they believed it implicated him.
So among those who drew a conclusion, readers of the report were 13 percentage points more likely to believe this was bad for the president, while nonreaders were 5 percentage points more likely to believe it was good for him.
Of those 398 opinionated respondents who later copped to not actually reading it, there was a selection of 168 respondents who said that they never would. Let’s call them the too-long-didn’t-reads, or “TL;DRs.” What do the TL;DRs believe?
- 39% said it entirely or somewhat vindicated Trump, 7 points higher than the overall set.
- 24% didn’t feel strongly either way, 5 points higher than the overall set.
- 36% said it entirely or somewhat implicated Trump, 12 points lower than the overall set.
TL;DR: While the number of people who think the report implicates the president is 50% higher than the number who think it vindicated him, a majority of people who did not read the report and still have an opinion on it think it’s really great for the president.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,101 respondents collected from the evening of April 18 through April 19, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95% confidence level
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