A majority of Americans believe President Trump’s claims of “complete and total exoneration” following his attorney general’s letter outlining the Mueller report aren’t true, according to a new poll from CNN.
The poll, conducted by SSRS, found that 56 percent of Americans believe that Trump and his campaign “have not been exonerated, but collusion could not be proven,” while 43 percent say Trump and his campaign “have been exonerated of any collusion with Russia.”
That’s the latest sign that the findings of the Mueller report are likely to be more of a partisan Rorschach Test than one that will move Trump’s poll numbers dramatically one way or the other. Attorney General William Barr reported Sunday that Mueller found Trump hadn’t colluded with Russia, but that Mueller didn’t take a position on whether Trump had obstructed the investigation. The actual report still hasn’t been shared widely.
A few caveats: The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, immediately after the Barr letter came out, while many voters were still trying to get their heads around the news. Barely half of poll recipients say they’d heard a “great deal” (23 percent) or a “moderate amount” about the story, so plenty of respondents were simply guessing and may have firmer, better-informed opinions in the coming days and weeks. Polls immediately after an event often don’t represent how voters ultimately feel about events, and two-day polls are less reliable than ones conducted over a longer period of time. SSRS has also been a bit more Democratic-leaning than other top-tier pollsters over the last few years.
But this is the second poll in as many days to suggest that Trump isn’t likely to get the political lift he’s hoping for from Barr’s letter.