Indictments of Russians Land Amidst Strong Partisan Views in Texas of Russian Meddling, Donald Trump Connection, Mueller

The announcement by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of the indictment of 12 members of a Russian military agency for conspiring to hack Democrats as part of an effort to disrupt the 2016 election in the United States will further fuel the politics of the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential contest, and whether there is evidence of any connection to the Trump campaign. The indictments, which were filed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller and issued by a grand jury, come as Donald Trump prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin next week in Helsinki.  

These indictments will futher fuel the politics and media coverage around the Mueller investigation and the reaction of the Trump administration and elected officials in the party of which he is figurehead. Among Texas voters, there is a now well established pattern in which views of even some of the basic facts of the Mueller investigation — like whether it has uncovered any crimes (it has) — appear heavily influenced by partisanship. As the Mueller investigation and Russian interference in the election hit the headlines once again, we round up relevant results for University of Texas / Texas Tribune polling (which largely resemble national results on similar items).

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Per the point above, despite several guilty pleas and indictments, as recently as last month 78 percent of Texas Republicans said that no crimes had been uncovered.

This views of the facts coexists with markedly different partisan perceptions of the nature of the Mueller investigation.

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Mostly efforts to investigate interference77%39%11%
Mostly efforts to discredit Donald Trump9%37%81%
Don't know/No opinion13%24%8%

And while in some cases one might suspect that partisanship is substituting for awareness of the subject, that doesn't seem to be the case here — most people have heard a lot about the investigation.

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A lot58%
Not very much10%
Nothing at all5%

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A lot60%51%60%
Not very much9%7%11%
Nothing at all3%15%4%

The partisanship also extends to how Robert Mueller is handling the investigation — and even to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Approve strongly48%20%4%
Approve somewhat19%17%6%
Neither approve nor disapprove13%16%12%
Disapprove somewhat4%7%16%
Disapprove strongly5%26%51%
Don't know10%13%11%

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Very favorable26%9%7%
Somewhat favorable36%18%19%
Neither favorable nor unfavorable20%24%23%
Somewhat unfavorable6%13%27%
Very unfavorable5%17%18%
Don't know/no opinion7%19%6%