Speed Reads

divided we fall

A majority of Republicans think Obama spied on Trump and a majority of Democrats think Trump conspired with Russia

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday revealed just how radically different Democrats' and Republicans' perceptions of Russia's election meddling are. On the whole, 56 percent of Americans believe Russia tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an allegation that bipartisan leaders of Congress have said there is evidence to support. But when broken down by party, the numbers diverge drastically: Just 32 percent of strong conservatives believe Russia meddled, while 77 percent of liberals believe the Kremlin tried to play a hand in the election's results.

That split deepens even further when the question of possible foul play by U.S. presidents arises. A majority of leaned Republicans (55 percent) think former President Barack Obama spied on President Trump during the election. A majority of leaned Democrats (60 percent) think Trump's campaign tried to help Russia to influence the election. Just 14 percent of Democrats believe Obama spied on Trump, and a slim 18 percent of Republicans think Trump had anything to do with Russia's meddling.

To further complicate matters, neither party is particularly confident Congress can get to the bottom of this. Fifty-five percent of Democrats aren't confident Congress will lead a fair investigation, and Republicans are evenly split (46 percent to 46 percent) on whether or not Congress' investigation will be fair.

The poll was conducted by phone from April 17-20 among 1,004 adults. Its overall margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.