Short answer: A majority disagree with Comey’s decision not to indict Secretary Clinton.
Two recent polls queried public opinion on Comey’s decision to let Hillary off the hook.
The right-leaning Rasmussen Reportl headlined:
“Most voters disagree with FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to seek a criminal indictment of Hillary Clinton.”
Specifically, 54% of likely U.S. voters disagree with the FBI’s decision and believe that the FBI should have sought a criminal indictment of Clinton … 27% agree with Comey and 10%) are undecided.
Said differently, 2/3’s of the people with an opinion disagreed.
The Rasmussen results are consistent with those of the left-leaning Washington Post / ABC poll which put the split at 56% disagree to 35% agree.
Digging deeper, the details – “internals” in research jargon – are directionally predictable, but interesting…
Some specifics from Rasmussen:
64% of Democrats agree with Comey’s decision to let Hillary off the hook.
25% of Democrats disagree with the decision; 11% of Democrats are undecided.
Frankly, I’m surprised that so many Dems disagree … I would have expected a number less than 10%.
But, that may not matter since 71% of Democrats said that Clinton should have kept running for the presidency even if indicted.
79% of Republicans and 63% of Independents disagree with Comey’s decision.
The GOP number is to be expected..
But, the two-thirds of Independents should give Team Hillary some heartburn.
58% of blacks agree with the FBI’s decision not to pursue a criminal indictment against Clinton
.. but 57% of whites and 60% of other minority voters disagree.
Draw your own conclusion on that one.
Overall, 58% said that Comey’s decision would not influence their vote.
28% say that they’re less likely to vote for Clinton.
10% say that they’re more likely.
Apparently they think that “not indicted” is synonymous with “innocent”.
Not so …
More broadly, Ramussen found that 81% of all voters believe powerful people get preferential treatment when they break the law.
No surprise there.
I guess that the other 19% are probably the powerful people who think that they’re getting picked on …
Regarding the FBI:
62% of all likely voters have a favorable opinion of the FBI, but that number includes only 16% with a “very favorable” opinion.
In research parlance, the “top box effect” suggests that “very favorable” responses are the only ones that much matter.
I’ll be interested to see other polls of FBI favorability.
My bet: Public perceptions of the FBI will plummet as a direct result of the decision.
Just because Comey says that he and the FBI aren’t political doesn’t make it so .
You know …