NBC/WSJ Poll: Russian Influence Needs Independent Inquiry

A new poll finds a strong majority favor an independent investigation into Russia's interference with the U.S. elections and possible ties to the Donald Trump campaign.

That is according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Asked whether Congress or a special prosecutor/independent commission should be investigating, 78% picked an independent inquiry, while only 15% picked Congress. The question did not include the FBI investigation among the choices.

A majority (65%) said they had either a great deal of confidence (25%) or some confidence (45%) in the FBI's investigation, but only 40% said the same about Congress.

Of the people who have an opinion on President Donald Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey, a majority disapprove, with not quite half (46%) agreeing with the statement that Comey was fired to slow the FBI investigation into the election.

The poll found that 38% disapproved, while 29% approved—32% said they had no opinion.

Of those who have been paying close attention to the issue, 53% said they disapproved while 33% said they approved.

Broken out by party, only 58% of Republicans approve of the firing, while 66% of Democrats disapprove.

The poll was conducted by phone May 11-13 among 800 adults. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.

A majority of the respondents (52%) have a negative view of the President, while 38% have a positive view, essentially unchanged from the poll's findings a month before.

President Trump has alternately said he wanted to get to the bottom of the possible Russian interference and called such an investigation a "witch hunt" and "taxpayer-funded charade."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.