Nice catch by the Media Research Center from a broad-based YouGov poll published last week. Virtually everyone in a position to know has shot down the theory that Russia messed with the vote in November. Barack Obama: Nope. James Clapper: Nope. James Comey and Mike Rogers: Nope. It’s been rejected over and over and over again by authorities whom Democrats should trust.
Force-feed a man enough headlines about Russia having “hacked the election,” though, and all of that melts away. YouGov asked whether it’s true or false that “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected President.” Result:
They asked the same question in December:
Despite half a year’s worth of news developments about what did and didn’t happen between Trump and Russia and not a scrap of evidence that any vote totals were changed, Democrats are more likely to believe the election was rigged now than they were then. To paraphrase Rick James, motivated reasoning is a hell of a drug.
Want another example? YouGov also asked people how they felt about James Comey in the wake of his firing. This is the same guy who was shredded rhetorically by the left for months after his infamous letter to Congress about Emailgate before the election and whom many Democrats demanded be canned for his eleventh-hour interference in the political process. Even liberals who oppose Trump’s decision to oust Comey while the Russia probe is ongoing should view Comey himself unfavorably due to his role in the election, one would think.
But one would be wrong:
Democrats now favor Comey, 42/29, while Republicans disfavor him, 18/57. The two parties’ preferences are essentially dictated by Trump’s preferences. If you doubt that, consider that another poll out today from Harvard-Harris also has Comey in positive territory among Democrats at 37/27. As recently as last month, it was … 17/36. You can try to explain the Democrats’ Strange New Respect for him if you like by noting that the news about his memo broke before the Harvard-Harris poll was conducted (between May 17 and 20), and therefore some Dems may sincerely have developed a new admiration for Comey’s integrity over the last week or so. Problem is, the YouGov poll was conducted between May 13 and 16, before the news about the memo circulated. It’s almost certainly partisan tribalism that’s driving perceptions of Comey.