A survey conducted immediately following the release of the redacted version of Robert Muller’s report on the Russia investigation revealed that 22 percent of respondents believed that the document exonerated President Donald Trump, while 33 percent felt that it implicated him, Business Insider reports.
The survey began nationally on the same day as the report was released and ran through April 19, ultimately capturing 1,101 responses. On its surface, the survey was presented simply as a series of questions related to the contents of Mueller’s report and some unrelated political matters. Questions began on the topic of Mueller’s investigation before moving on to other things. However, a number of questions later, respondents are asked to provide another potentially useful data point: “Have you read the Mueller report?”
The responses came in as follows:
- 31 percent said “no, and I don’t currently plan to.”
- 32 percent said “no, but I intend to.”
- 24 percent said “yes, but I haven’t yet completed it.”
- 5 percent said “yes, in its entirety.”
- 8 percent said “I don’t know / understand.”
Because the survey was conducted in such immediate proximity to the release of the report and the report itself is so lengthy at 448 pages, it would be somewhat of a feat for anyone to have read the document in its entirety at that point in time. Nonetheless, parsing the data based on how individuals responded to the question about having read the report did indeed yield additional insights.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian election interference has been released. Read it here. https://t.co/XWN3rLIvft— Business Insider (@businessinsider) April 18, 2019
Specifically, while only 29 percent of respondents claimed to have read some or all of the report, more than twice as many, 67 percent, drew a conclusion about whether the report vindicated or implicated the president. This gap would be attributable to any number of factors that would lead someone to have an opinion of the report without having read it, ranging from an individual’s preexisting political biases and preferences to their choice of the media outlets they trust to present the findings.
In any case, Business Insider dug further into the data for those who responded that they had not read any part of the report. In those cases:
- 34 percent said it vindicated the president.
- 21 percent said they were unsure.
- 43 percent said it implicated him.
The findings ultimately show that the number of people who think the report implicates Trump is 50 percent higher than the number who think it exonerates him. Additionally, a majority of people who did not read the report and still have an opinion on it think it contained good news for the president. However, among those who both have not read the report and yet do have an opinion on it, opinions break substantially in favor of the president. A potential conclusion is simply that for President Trump, the fewer people who read the report, the better.