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Americans divide along partisan lines over protecting special counsel – CBS News poll

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By Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto

Seven in 10 Americans think President Trump should allow the Russia investigation to continue, and a slight majority think Congress should pass legislation to prevent Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired

Most Republicans think the president should allow the investigation to continue, but don’t support Congress passing legislation to protect Mueller from being fired. 

Overall, 52 percent of Americans think Congress should pass legislation to protect the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation from being fired, including three out of four Democrats and most independents. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans, however, disagree.

Fifty-one percent of Americans see the special counsel’s Russia investigation as politically motivated rather than justified (46 percent), but seven in 10 think President Trump should allow the investigation to continue, including 57 percent of Republicans.

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Little has changed since the 2018 congressional elections regarding evaluations of Donald Trump’s overall job performance. His approval rating is 39 percent among Americans overall – the same as last month – with 85 percent of Republicans approving and 90 percent of Democrats disapproving of the job he’s doing. 

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By almost three to one, more Americans saw the midterm elections as a rejection of Mr. Trump and his policies than an endorsement. Democrats were particularly likely to see it this way. Less than a quarter of Republicans saw the election as a rejection of the President, and half said it wasn’t about him. 

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But Americans continue to have positive views of the economy and the President’s handling of that particular issue. Fifty-two percent of Americans approve of the way Donald Trump is handling the economy, including nine in 10 Republicans and slight majority of independents. In contrast, most disapprove of his handling of immigration and U.S. relations with its European allies.

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The percentage of Americans that thinks the economy is good continues to climb. Now, 74 percent rate the economy positively, up four points from last month and the highest percentage recorded since March 2001.

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This poll was conducted by telephone November 15-18, 2018 among a random sample of 1,103 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. 

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. 

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Poll toplines here:

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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