Poll shows majority of Republicans approve of Comey’s firing.

Majority of Republicans Approve of Comey’s Firing, According to New Poll

Majority of Republicans Approve of Comey’s Firing, According to New Poll

The Slatest
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May 14 2017 2:03 PM

Majority of Republicans Approve of Comey’s Firing

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Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey delivers the keynote remarks at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance Leadership Dinner on March 29, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

While Washington is still reeling about President Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, the majority of his supporters think it was a good call. Although only 29 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s decision to fire Comey, the number rises to 58 percent when only Republicans are taken into account, according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. That may help explain why the scandal has not affected Trump’s (already low) approval ratings, which are now at 39 percent, one point lower than what was recorded in last month’s poll.

Among Democrats, though there is little doubt that the firing is not sitting well as 66 percent disapprove of Comey’s dismissal. Also, for Democrats there is little question that Trump got rid of Comey to slow the FBI investigation of Russia’s involvement in his campaign as 74 percent agree with that statement. On the flip side, nearly two-thirds of Republicans say the firing had to do with how the former FBI director handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

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The responses from independents are notable because so many don’t have an opinion on the issue. While 36 percent of independents disapprove of the firing, 42 percent said they had no opinion one way or another, higher than the overall 32 percent of Americans who didn’t have anything to say on the matter.

There is one thing that Republicans and Democrats do seem to agree on and that’s support for an independent commission or special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s involvement in the election. Only 15 percent think Congress should carry out the investigation, while 78 percent support an independent commission or special prosecutor.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.