In focus group, only agreement is on Mueller

April 18, 2018

Donald Trump’s Republican base does not want the POTUS to fire Robert Mueller; but they will not protect the special counsel if the president does decide to boot him, based on findings of a focus group conducted as part of Emory University’s “Dialogue with America” by Peter D. Hart, a longtime Democratic pollster.

During the two-hour discussion among a dozen men and women—covered by The Washington Post— the Trump supporters in the group were adamant that they still agreed with Trump that the Russia investigation is “a witch hunt.”

However, both supporters and critics of the administration believed he should not axe the special counsel.

The Trump supporters had a variety of reasons, but they all thought that public perception of the president would tank if he tried to stop the investigation.

People would be suspicious,” Betsy Novak, 55, a greenhouse worker who voted for Trump said to the group, according to the Post.

It [would be] hiding something,” said Curt Hetzel, 48, a shipping and receiving manager who also voted for Trump.

Politically, it would be a terrible idea,” said yet another Trump backer, Sam Goldner, 25, a warehouse manager.

The focus group was held in  just outside Milwaukee, which the Post characterized as “ a perennial suburban swing area in a state that helped propel Trump to a surprise victory and is home to competitive Senate and gubernatorial contests this fall.”

Aside from the opinions on the Russia investigation, thoughts on the administration were split along political lines. “Partisan America is alive and well in Wisconsin,” Hart said, adding, “I felt that people are pretty frozen in place. The one thing they agreed with was Robert Mueller should not be fired. That’s about as close as they get to a unified position.”

Research contact: @PhilipRucker

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