New IGS poll: California voters partisan when it comes to Russia probe, Trump

street signs, one donkey, one elephant

The Berkeley IGS Poll found that Californians of all age, gender and racial subcategories have more negative than positive views of President Trump. (iStock image.)

Whether it’s the Russia probe, the firing of James Comey as FBI director or the president’s job performance, political party affiliation is the main predictor of what California voters think, according to a new poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

The Berkeley IGS Poll reports that large majorities of Democrats see the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as very important to the United States, and disapprove of Comey’s firing, which they considered tied to the Russia inquiry.

But for 60 percent of the Republicans in the same telephone poll, undertaken from May 4-29, the investigation is not important, and 57 percent say Comey’s firing was most likely is connected to his poor job investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. Some 65 percent of Republicans approve of Comey’s termination.

The survey results come out as news reports continue to surface daily with claims and counterclaims about the exploration of Russia’s role in the bitter election faceoff between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Clinton, and as Comey prepares to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow. 

Mulling over Mueller

The voters surveyed did come together, however, on one issue. Some 59 percent of Republican voters say they see the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to head up the ongoing Russia probe to be a good thing, while 58 percent of Democrats say the same thing.

Mueller was appointed to run the FBI by President George W. Bush and served in the post from 2001 to 2013, after President Obama extended the regular 10-year term for FBI directors by two years. Obama then appointed Comey in 2013. Trump fired Comey on May 9.

Making America great again?

When asked to evaluate Trump’s job on the economy, voters questioned in the poll again broke along party lines.

Among registered Republicans, 87 percent say they approve of Trump’s performance on the economic front, while 76 percent of Democrats disapprove.

On foreign policy, Republicans gave Trump a 68 percent approval rating; Democrats gave him a 77 percent disapproval score. 

Overall, just 35 percent of the registered voters responding gave Trump a positive rating for the economy and 25 percent gave him a good score on foreign policy.

Pollsters found that just 28 percent of California’s registered voters approve of the president’s job performance overall, and 57 percent do not.  

They also note that approval ratings for Trump’s job performance overall vary significantly, based on geography, with the San Francisco Bay Area weighing in with a low of 19 percent and the San Joaquin Valley recording 42 percent support.

Read more on the Berkeley IGS Poll website