Fifty-six percent of Americans disagree with FBI director James Comey’s recommendation to clear Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing for her email practices as secretary of state, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll released on Monday.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans are united in their stance on the issue: Eighty-eight percent of those polled disagree with Comey’s recommendation not to charge Clinton with a crime.
But perhaps a less anticipated finding of the poll is that Democrats aren’t completely unified in their perception of the issue. While 6 in 10 Democrats polled agree with Comey’s recommendation, a significant portion ― 31 percent― disagree with it.
Republican respondents almost unanimously say that the email issue makes them worried about how Clinton will handle responsibilities if she is elected president. Most Democrats polled ― 68 percent ― don’t see a connection between how Clinton handled her email and how she would handle her responsibilities as president if she wins. Yet, about one-third of Democratic respondents say the issue does cause them to worry.
Independents lean closer to Republicans on the Clinton email issue. About 60 percent of respondents who identify as independents disagree with the recommendation to clear Clinton, and a nearly equal portion express worry about the outcome and what it says about her decision-making if she becomes president.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent points out there are a striking number of young and liberal voters among those who disagree with Comey’s decision and worry about Clinton’s decision-making. Sargent suggests that the nearly one-third of Democrats who oppose the majority of their party on the issue might be supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
There is, however, a silver lining for Clinton to be found in the data. Even though Democrats somewhat disagree on whether Comey made the right call, the ABC/Post poll shows it’s unlikely to dissuade them from voting for Clinton. Seventy-three percent of Democrats polled say the outcome makes no difference in their vote, and 16 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for Clinton. Just 9 percent say the outcome makes them less likely to vote for her.
The Huffington Post Pollster general election chart, which aggregates all publicly available polls, shows Clinton leading in the presidential race with 46 percent of the vote to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s 40 percent. She also holds 81 percent of the vote among Democrats.
The ABC/Washington Post poll surveyed 519 American adults on July 6-7 using live interviewers. The poll has a 5 percent margin of error.