The tumultuous 2016 presidential election, a clouded story of foreign interference and espionage, continues to divide the American population along partisan lines in an unprecedented way, a new survey reveals.
Wednesday’s ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 60 percent of Democrats believe the defining election allegation that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian state agents to fraudulently influence the election, while 55 percent of Republicans accept President Donald Trump’s baseless counter-accusation that the Obama administration spied on him.
These numbers increase again among voters of each party’s presidential candidate. Seventy-two percent of Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton’s enthusiastic electorate suspect Russian interference threw their candidate’s campaign—and that Trump’s aides helped—while 64 percent of Trump’s devoted supporters stand behind his claims that former President Barack Obama ordered him to be wiretapped.
In his analysis of the results, ABC’s Gregory Holyk said, “Simply put, Democrats are motivated to see Trump’s presidency as illegitimate, while Republicans are motivated to believe his predecessor was up to no good.”
Overall, 56 percent of voters think that Russia worked to influence the outcome of the election while 32 percent believe that Obama bugged Trump Tower.
Despite the intelligence community’s dismissal of Trump’s Obama claim and statement, there is evidence that Russian meddling did take place, although no evidence has directly linked members of the Trump campaign to Russian election interference and the ongoing investigations have not published their official conclusions.
Not that their conclusions will really matter. The one position that unites more than half of participants, party sympathy aside, is a faltering faith that Congress can resolve it all. Neither Republicans nor Democrats substantially believe that the ongoing investigations being carried out will be done so fairly.
Almost 100 days into Trump’s presidency, serious questions about the election remain without official resolve and are merely serving as justification for suspicion and separation between America’s conservatives and liberals.