Monmouth University released a poll on Monday that found that while less than 15 percent of Americans are very familiar with the term “deep state,” nearly 75 percent said they believe a “group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy” exists or probably exists. Sixteen percent of those polled said it “probably” doesn’t exist, while 5 percent said it “definitely” did not exist.
Split down political party lines, Republicans (31 percent) and independents (33 percent) were more likely than Democrats (19 percent) to believe that the “deep state definitely exists,” according to the poll.
The idea of a “deep state” has gained notoriety since the election of Donald Trump. The idea of some sort of “shadow government” pulling the levers from behind the curtain has been brought up by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Trump adviser Roger Stone, and InfoWars host Alex Jones.
Trump even directly referenced the term earlier this year when he said the “Deep State Justice Dept” needed to “act” on Huma Abedin, an aide of Hillary Clinton, and former FBI Director James Comey.
Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
The idea of a secret group controlling the outcome of the government picked up a lot of steam earlier this year when conservative media latched onto the mention of a “secret society” in texts from FBI lawyer Lisa Page and senior FBI agent Peter Strzok.
It turns out, however, that the “secret society” text was likely a joke.
You can read more about Monmouth University’s poll here.